My reviews of comedy albums usually run anywhere from 500 to 700 words. I'll be the first to admit that can be a lot to take in, especially in a day when we are being forced/trained to express ourselves in 140 characters (not words) or less. That being said, I don't know how many of my posts are read in their entirety and Stand Up Comedy 2 by Tommy Johnigan is so good, I don't want to risk losing anyone before I'm able to impress upon them how amazing this CD is.
Seriously. I'm not kidding around. If I go to see a movie and I love it, I usually only tell people "It was OK," or "Yea, it was good, I really liked it." I hate raising people's expectations because I don't want them to be let down. I've often found myself disappointed in a movie only because it couldn't possibly live up to everyone's hype. That being said, I'm breaking one of my own rules by coming right out and saying it...you need to have this album in your playlist.
As a matter of fact, let's pause for a moment right now so you can buy the album and then you can come back here and finish reading this while it's downloading.
Dum de dum...
OK, sweet. All good? Excellent. You've made a wise decision.
And now, as if you're reading the forward to a book, before you actually listen to your new purchase I will explain to you why you've just made the best comedy decision of the year.
To put it simply, this CD is nothing less than amazing. It's hilarious. It's clever. It's smart yet the material is easily accessible. There's something here for everyone regardless of your comedy palette. In fact, it's every synonym for the word "great" or "wonderful" that Roget could come up with.
The secret of Johnagin's success lies in the fact he's just a regular guy who finds himself in some amazing situations. Actually, to call them "amazing" may be something of a mislead. When I think about it, they're actually quite ordinary predicaments with no feel of being embellished for the sake of a nice gag. I'm not saying everything Johnagin says us 100% accurate, but there's nothing here that doesn't feel believable. Any or all of it could have happened. It's comedy through utter plausibility. These are completely ordinary situations any one of us could have stumbled into. What makes them truly "amazing" is how Johnigan reacts and then relays what happened to us.
For example, Johnigan and his girlfriend recently decided to smoke weed and it was their very first time. Not their first time as a couple but their first time, period. What's brilliant about his story is that he's not a teenager in high school living on the edge. He's an adult well aware of any and all consequences for his actions. His sense of responsibility only adds to the paranoia that swirls around them both and the situation takes a very funny turn when he realizes the drug's effects are hitting his girlfriend first.
Johnigan is a man who is at his most comfortable when things are going just the way they're supposed to go. When there is a hiccup, no matter how slight or inconsequential, he always has the best words to describe what's going down:
- On his sister's 10-pound newborn: He looks like John Goodman from a distance.
- On trying to carry on a conversation with younger women: Talkin' to a 20-year-old is like talkin' to a baby, except babies don't have bad ideas yet.
- On women who are extra-forward on a first date: Stop biting and go away.
One of my favorite bits on the album is simply called "A Whimsical Story About Throwing A Baby" and it's exactly what it sounds like. Johnigan is up front about the fact that just because his sister has a baby, that doesn't automatically qualify him as a competent babysitter. To prove his point, he shares a tale that left me in tears.
When Johnigan eventually sets his sites to women and relationships, he stays on top and doesn't falter or lose his footing once. Safe words, mood swings that aren't really mood swings, and accidentally clacking teeth while kissing, Johnigan covers it all with amazing precision.
Everything comes to a close with a hidden track that begins with a story that explodes with humor at an exponential rate all because of a simple slip of the tongue by Johnigan. What unfolds is a hilarious improvised rant about wearing tires instead of used clothing and ends with Johnigan simply declaring, "I think that's gonna be a bonus track. There's no way that could be on the CD." I for one am glad he had second thoughts.
There's honestly not a single thing I can think f I didn't enjoy about this project and I can't recommend it enough. Tommy Johnigan is as good as I hope every comedian will be the first time I listen to their album. It sounds like hype, I know, but it's not. It's just the truth. I laughed.
I mean...you know...it was good. I liked it, yea.
OK, enough with the soft sell. Now go buy it.