Friday, November 20, 2009

Lee's Comedy College

By the title it might seem that I will be teaching you the art of being funny. I wouldn't dare do this though, because you either have it or you don't, and as much wisdom as I could dish out, it'll never make you as funny as me. No, what I will be providing you with is a key to the world of the comedy album. Every week, I will be posting a new album from the Sullivan vaults. It's going to be a long, fun journey as all my favourite sets will be posted to expand your feeble minds.


We all love music albums here at BOTM, but not enough is ever said about stand-up albums. Just like music, there is the bad and the good. Sometimes a comedian I love will disappoint me with their new material, as if maybe they have lost some of that magic from that last masterpiece of a set. Perhaps they've softened in their new life since the last album or the first album was all the bits they have been doing for 10 years and now the new, less toiled over set doesn't match up. Or perhaps just as I'm starting to think they've lost what they once had, their new album arrives full of passion and wisdom and, well, everything that makes a great stand-up album so satisfying.

There are stand-up DVD's, which are a wonderful way to see the intricacies of the physicality of the act. But I prefer an album, something that leaves just enough to the imagination that you have to work with the performer to get the whole experience. There is just something so intimate about lying down on your couch or driving in your car and sitting back and listening to a set.

But all the analysis must come much later, after you've heard the album a couple of times and have just let it do it's job... to make you laugh. There can be moments in an album where you find yourself laughing at a point where the audience isn't, or you're not really 'getting it' while most of the audience is laughing uproariously, but that's what we're dealing with here. A true personal journey into comedy and it's ability to make us think and make us laugh.


Doug Stanhope - Something To Take The Edge Off (2000)

Doug Stanhope is one of the great comedians currently working, along with Louis CK, David Cross, Patton Oswalt and a handful of others who made their own unique mark in the world of stand-up over the decade. Stanhope has emerged in recent years as a fearless social critic and raconteur afraid of nothing and standing as a role model to anyone that is willing to run their own lives without the fear of judgment from other people. I won't talk too much about him just yet, as we'll leave that for the comment section. So anyway sit back, go for a drive or, as I prefer with this album, go for a walk and enjoy the first album in our new series.


- Lee

1 comment:

  1. Really great album! Has that Bill Hicks feel where it builds and flows perfectly and has a turly great closer