Monday, April 9, 2012

Nick Griffin's "Shot in the Face"

With his latest release, Shot in the Face, comedian Nick Griffin picks up right where he left off a little more than a year ago. This is a solid follow-up to Bring Out the Monkey and serves to solidify his reputation as an original and consistent performer. If I were to make a chart outlining the good and bad things about this album, there would only be one item in the "Cons" column. And, if memory serves, it's the same thing I struggled with when I reviewed his last CD: There's so much good stuff here, I can't possibly begin to scratch the surface. Will I successfully be able to relate to you just how good this is? I don't know, but I'm sure going to try.

I love Griffin's knack for being able to call B.S. and his total willingness to do so. He puts me in mind of Johnny Appleseed, only instead of strolling through the countryside haphazardly tossing seeds into the wind, I see Griffin strolling through town nonchalantly pointing out one thing after another and muttering, "That's crap. That's not true. That's crap. Not even close." And I love it.

This is a guy who's fed up and isn't going to take it any longer. Nothing's going to stop him, nor should it. Not the "bad boys" of Hollywood, not guys who drive Hummers (or, as Griffin refers to them, "I wish I were taller-mobiles"), and certainly not thrift store hipsters at coffee shops who wear 2-dollar pants and drink 4-dollar lattes.

A lot of Griffin's humor lies in the fact that what he's saying isn't outrageous or grounded in comedic absurdity. In fact, the opposite is true. His humor is found in simple, matter-of-fact honesty. He begins by pointing out the paradoxes of current society (Rich people are skinny, poor people are fat. Women have muscles, men have highlights) and maintains his outlook all the way through to his final bit which is built on the idea that men are inherently reward-motivated (and women should use that to their advantage).

It's true that we live in a jacked-up time but if we didn't, we'd miss out on how funny it is to have it pointed out to us. I can't think of anyone more entertaining than Griffin to take up the mantle and point out that past generations looked up to people like Churchill, Gandhi, or Martin Luther King Jr and our present-day example of heroism is Jared from Subway who, let's be honest, really didn't do anything except stop making a pig of himself. 

Who better than Griffin to expose the whole socks-with-sandals fashion fiasco for what it really is: A stupid choice that makes as much sense as wearing briefs under your boxers, completely defeating the purpose of wearing sandals in the first place.

Where Griffin especially shines is when he approaches love and relationships. His style is not merely a "Hey, didja notice how we're different" routine but instead he really takes a good look at just how we function and interact...and how it's usually pretty ridiculous. On his marriage that only lasted three years: "We were supposed to be together until one of us died. I never even had a fever."

The last time I wrote about Griffin I gave his CD a pretty solid recommendation and my praise continues with this go-around. If you haven't yet added Griffin to your comedy collection, you're depriving yourself of some serious laughs. If that doesn't convince you to pick this one up, then perhaps the fact that Griffin reveals the contents of Christopher Walken's sock drawer will. That little tidbit of info alone will make you happy you did.


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