Monday, October 8, 2012

Erik Allen's "Your Feature Performer Is Wasted"




About a year and a half ago, I reviewed the debut album from comedian Erik Allen. Although I had a couple of critiques, for the most part I was impressed and looked forward to his next, longer album (the running time of that CD was just shy of 15 minutes). I sincerely believed he was on his way to something big and with the release of his follow-up project, Your Feature Performer Is Wasted, I got to see if my prediction held true. 

Although still shorter than most comedy CDs, this project is twice as long as his previous release and you can tell he’s been putting in his time. Allen has made some great strides in his craft and the result is a project that is a lot of fun and, most importantly, pretty darn funny.

Allen has developed into quite a storyteller and, just as the title hints, most of his stories are the direct result of his love of the drink. From partying into the wee hours of the night in Louisville that morphs into a Goldilocks tale gone wrong to tiring of waking up with Sharpie doodles on his face (when will his friends come up with something new to draw?), Allen recounts each tale with an approachable everyguy-ness. 

Most enjoyable is the revelation of a second personality: Drunk Erik. Drunk Erik and Sober Erik, although sharing the same body, are two very different people and although it seems Drunk Erik is for the most part a good guy (he makes breakfast for Sober Erik, tries to earn Sober Erik extra cash, and is able to turn a pool of vomit into something adorably nice), he does have his faults. No fair hiding the English muffins!

Of course, Allen isn’t the only one who’s spent time with an over-the-legal-limit blood alcohol level and the adventures his friends have had whilst under the influence are just as entertaining. He brilliantly compares Waldo from the children’s book series to an inebriated friend and the tale of his pal who locked herself in her car - and the subsequent attempt to free her - is a classic.

Yes, Allen is correct when he explains how technology has ruined the joy of blacking out and his misidentification of a Ninja at a hospital on Halloween hits the crowd hard, but not all of the big laughs here are booze-related (or induced). There’s a great bit on fridge dust and how eating a ball of it is a healthy option and one of my favorites is Allen’s encounter with a girl who has a fantastically stupid allergy.

I had a great time listening to this project and, once again, am eagerly anticipating what Allen will bring us the next time around. Yes, your feature performer may be wasted, but he made me laugh, and I’ve got nothing to critique about that.



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