Friday, August 3, 2012

Comedy Juice All-Stars

Comedy Juice All-Stars is exactly what you hope to get from a compilation album. Each comedian to take the microphone is indeed an all-star and it's like a home run derby as one by one they step up to the plate and knock one out of the park. Quite simply, there's not a weak spot in the lineup.

First up is Sadiki Fuller, who gets some good mileage out of his unusual moniker and the many ways it's been pronounced incorrectly (most notably during school as a substitute teacher horribly maligns it during role call). Things also get funny as Fuller recounts his interactions with his girlfriend, including the unfortunate "polar bear arms" incident.

Mike Kosta is smooth and comfortable on stage (at least, I interpret his vibe as smooth and comfortable. His mom sees it as cocky). Kosta is knowledgeable on nicknames, be they state nicknames or the secret phrase used when referring to eldest siblings.

When Eddie Pepitone takes the spotlight he brings with him everything you love about an Eddie Pepitone appearance. You may know him from Marc Maron's live WTF podcasts or from his appearances on Conan as the angry guy in the crowd or, as he points out himself, from one of his two (two!) appearances on "The King of Queens." Pepitone is just as funny here as he addresses his stalker/only Twitter follower and reads him the riot act...even though he isn't 100% sure he's in the audience.

Hannibal Buress starts off with a great bit on Lil Wayne's interview by Katie Couric and the rest of his set is just as solid. Buress touches on the appeal of being a gangster (barbecues!), why adult peer pressure is no fun (let's go hiking!), and why it's just better to stay indoors (not getting slapped in the face!).

When it comes to racial relations, Kevin Shea and John Roy offer up a nice one-two combination. As a Korean adopted by white parents (AKA The Devil), Shea struggles to stay rooted in his heritage and Roy takes stereotypes head on, questioning why Mexicans are simultaneously accused of stealing jobs and being lazy.

Ben Gleib proves to be quite skilled at all facets of stand up. His prepared material (dudes being unable to drink fruity drinks and the sexual inappropriateness of a ghost-themed family movie soundtrack) is just as funny as his off-the-cuff crowd work where he encounters an audience member with impressive eyebrows who outranks Gleib in the computer field.

With a great story about super-secret restaurant lingo and his classic Facebook privacy bit, Pete Holmes is just as entertaining as he always is, followed up nicely by Butch Bradley who has a very well thought out set on scary movies.

The project ends with Dov Davidoff, whose mellow stage presence brings a nice tone to complement his advice on how to deal with crazy people. His comparison of pretty girls to swimming with dolphins is especially witty and humorous. 

This album contains something for everyone and is a nice representation of some of the great comedians working today. Some of the names on this CD were guys I was already familiar with (and a fan of), some I only recognized by name, and some were completely new to me. All of them, though, were very funny and brought big laughs. To paraphrase the patriarch of the Simpson clan: Mmmmmm, Comedy Juice.

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