David Huntsberger doesn't do impressions. He isn't crazy-sarcastic and he doesn't use puppets. He doesn't accompany himself with an instrument and he doesn't work himself up into a manic frenzy, screaming at the top of his lungs. And he doesn't have to. To put it simply, David Huntsberger is funny on his own.
On his brilliant new album Humanitis, Huntsberger proves you don't need a gimmick to get huge laughs. He's like a professor of comedy, standing in front of the class with one of those huge wooden pointer sticks, only instead of using it to point out parts of a map or areas of the human skeleton, Huntsberger simply points at life with a "Hey, look at that" delivery. And he kills.
It begins when Huntsberger asks the audience if there are any sober drivers in the house. When only a smattering of people respond, Huntsberger reacts with a subtle yet straight-forward, "Three? All right. That's a good number. That's a good ratio." I admit it doesn't hit in writing as well as it does when you hear it, so re-read it again as if it were Jason Schwartzman saying it in a Wes Anderson movie.
Huntsberger then goes into a hilarious bit on how drunk drivers could elude policemen if they really set their mind to it and why backseat windows' safety features were not designed for hauling around intoxicated adults. From there it's on to blacking out - or at least people who claim they blacked out - and being called out for partying and there isn't a dull moment. It's one big laugh after another and this is still just the first track of the CD.
Huntsberger isn't making any fantastic claims or conjuring up one outrageous premise after another. His humor is down-to-earth and can often times be summed up (or started) with a simple idea: Every guy is a metrosexual from a different time period. People who work in "noble" careers may not be what they seem. Some people deserve to be judged based on looks. Humans smell. People aren't as different from ants as we may think. Some people never admit they're wrong; others are too quick to change their minds. Littering is good. Having a child should be as complicated as building a robot. Weasels can really screw up the process of being reincarnated.
All of those (and many more) serve as launching pads into some of the best, well-written comedy pieces you'll find. The next time a child asks you where babies come from, I humbly recommend you share with them Huntsberger's version of the miracle of reproduction.
You know you're listening to a great comedian when certain phrases jump out at you that will later serve as secret inside jokes between you and your friends. A few of them that stood out to me while listening to Humanitis - and will probably make no sense until you've heard the album for yourself - include:
- "Fake pretty is better than real ugly."
- "Teaching Special Ed is a sweet teaching gig if you don't like teaching."
- "Beep beep. Right. Money and card."
- "If you sell a someone a van, especially if they have a mustache, you may as well just throw in a free bag of candy."
- "You can't undo a robot."
While he is able to find humor in the little things in life, Huntsberger also takes the time to step back and look at the big picture. The really big picture. He almost tricks us into going deeper and looking at life from a new perspective. Sometimes things work out and sometimes you just wanna say, "Ah, bring on the weasels."
In the case of Humanitis, I'm glad to say it works out. Save the weasels for another day.