Upon first glance, If These Balls Could Talk may appear to be a puzzling title, but after listening to this hilarious new project from Louis Katz, it all falls into place. If Katz's balls really could talk, this album is exactly what they would say; this is the album his balls would want to make. And, as it turns out, Louis Katz has hilarious balls.
Balls is a stellar collection of groan-inducing, face-reddening, did-he-just-say-that comedy and I mean that in the very best way possible. Katz has somehow managed to blend the laid-back relaxed feel of Mitch Hedberg with the in-your-face hip hop sexual swagger of Aziz Ansari while still remaining completely original.
The first track starts off innocently enough with Katz lamenting about losing his hair. At first you may think you've heard this before and you know where he's going, but then Katz explains why he can't cover up the fact he's balding by simply wearing a hat: "I wear glasses. Can't wear a hat and glasses, that's a fake mustache away from being a disguise." It was at that very point I knew this was going to be a great ride. Katz has found a way to see things through a life lens that skews everything to the point where you can't see anything except for what's funny about it.
From there it's Game On and Katz jumps into the deep end of the pool without a second thought. From BBWs (and the correct pronunciation of their African-American counterparts) to vegans and pescatarians to close-talking men who invade your personal "V", Katz covers it all and each laugh is bigger than the last.
Crystals for deodorant. Jugglesticks and Dave Meowtthews. Didgeridoos and the real reason hippies love them. Just a couple of things Katz touches upon in a track about an ex-roommate that should be used and referenced in every "Great Comedy Bits" conversation that is ever held from this moment on. It's only a little over 4 minutes long, but Katz covers so much ground and so adeptly paints a mental picture of all that occurred, you'll feel like you were right there under the same roof with them.
When Katz tackles the weird phenomenon that is The Marching Band, he does it with such precision it's like he's a master surgeon doing a baboon-heart-into-a-human transplant. Katz has skills - or in his case, skillz - and he's not afraid to flaunt them.
Another favorite moment of mine came in a single, short bit that had Katz talking about what kids learn in school and why they're taught cursive handwriting. It's a line that was so good, I had to make it my Facebook status.
And then, there's the "dirty" stuff, which is pretty much every other cut on the album. Anyone can work blue. Anyone can get on stage and spew expletives or talk about sex. I've touched on this before. Bob Saget is famous for how foul he is. Unfortunately, he's not famous how funny he is. Jim Norton and Robin Williams both go off the deep end, but they also uphold their end of the bargain: They're funny while they do it.
In my opinion, though, Louis Katz does it best. Katz is somehow able to pull off blue material without it feeling very blue. I honestly don't know how he did it. When I listened to Jim Norton's Despicable I felt like I needed a shower afterward (and before the hate mail starts rolling in, I just want to clarify, I liked his album. See?). But Katz's comedy doesn't come with that "I feel dirty" dark cloud hovering over it.
Maybe the difference is the anger level. Norton seems irate when he talks - or screams - about sex. Katz, on the other hand, is quite happy. Where Norton seems to approach sex from an enraged "This is insane!!!!" point of view, Katz is simply proclaiming "This is awesome!!"
Often times when I talk to people about comedy I hear the same questions. Who's going to be the next big thing? What's good that's new? Who should I be keeping an eye on and who should I be on the lookout for? In this case, the answer to all of those questions is Louis Katz.
And I think his balls would agree with me.