Monday, September 5, 2011

Joe DeRosa's "Return of the Son of Depression Auction"

When I heard that Joe DeRosa was coming out with a new album, not even a year after the phenomenal The Depression Album was released, I was - for lack of a better word - stoked.

Not because DeRosa was the first comedian ever written about for this blog (although the sentimental part of me admits that may have been a small part of it), but because this guy cracks me up. He's hilarious, and to be given another album (a full hour!) of brand new material so soon after his last release is a more-than-generous gift from the comedy heavens.

With Return Of The Son Of Depression Auction, DeRosa is back in all of his Can-You-Friggin-Believe-This glory and it's a welcome return to the comedian who is funniest when he finds himself amid a whirl of unfathomable idiocy that can sometimes be this world we live in. And like his last album, DeRosa is just as willing to call BS on himself as he is those around him. With track titles like "I've Never Been In Shape" and "A Pussy, That's Me," DeRosa makes it clear that none of us - not even he - are going to make it out unscathed.

And, if you happen to be a homeless guy on the subway with DeRosa while he chokes on KFC...well...let's just say it's going to be a bad day to be a homeless guy.

This particular track ("I Eat Like Shit") begins with DeRosa's love for KFC, takes a quick detour to explain why fancy restaurants need to just stop it, does a quick Smoothie store drive-by, and comes back around to land on the worst thing that's ever happened to him. Ever.* It's so bad that it's funny, so unbelievable that is has to be true, and should come with a warning that you shouldn't eat while listening to this track lest you laugh so much you suffer the same chewed-up chicken fate as DeRosa.

DeRosa is an engaging storyteller and this is especially true when he tells us about the time he decided to join a mosh pit (and the laugh-out-loud way he brought it to a halt) and a crowd in Michigan who proved to be less-than-ideal. In both instances we relate to DeRosa and are pulling for him, despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges he faces. And, in both cases, the more DeRosa explores the situation, the more laughs he's able to bring.

When he's not struggling with the consequences of his own actions, he's taking aim at some well-deserving targets that have, for some reason, flown under the radar up to this point. Whether it's PBS and their ridiculously-priced donation thank-you packages or ill-behaved children who manage to compensate for "25-year-old hot chicks" by running into poles, DeRosa always presents an air-tight case. Once he's given his side, there really isn't much you can say to contradict him. If he were a prosecutor, after hearing DeRosa's opening statement, I wouldn't be surprised if the defending attorney simply threw his hands into the air and said to the judge, "He's right. I got nothin'."

It's because he's so good at getting his point across that he can tackle topics like choosing a skinny girl over her fat friend at a bar and the truth about Europeans with absolutely no fear. Regardless of where we stand when DeRosa starts in, we all end up on the same side, and we do so laughing all the way.

*Food-related Division

**Ed's Note: DeRosa uses a phrase on this CD that immediately jumped out at me as simultaneously hilarious and fodder to be stolen and used. I freely admit it. So, in the future, when I enter a kitchen and randomly exclaim, "I'm gonna eat all the egg sandwiches!!" and I laugh and you just look confused you know where I got it.


1 comment:

  1. Were you annoyed at all by the woman laughing in the background who sounds like Desi Arnaz? Her voice really carries and she laughs when he's telling his set-ups. No reason to laugh and she's busting up. It's really irritating and distracting on an otherwise awesome album. I think I like Depression Auction better though, but not by much.