Without a doubt, “Stever Fever” is the best debut album I’ve heard in a long time. Steve Gillespie has put together an amazing 40 minutes of comedy that comes packed with an impressive number of laugh-out-loud moments. The biggest laughs all seemed to come out of nowhere; I can honestly say I didn’t see one of them coming and it’s a testament to Gillespie’s clever writing and stage presence that he was able to sneak up behind me and punch me in the head time after time.
Gillespie starts off his set by addressing his physical appearance (“This is what I look like. Let’s deal with it”) and if any would-be hecklers had a remark about his lack of muscles or gangly body type, I’m sure none of them were this funny or clever or had a better reference to a cancer-stricken Justin Bieber. I especially liked Gillespie’s remark that, although people everywhere are being congratulated for losing five pounds, “nobody ever pats me on the back for never being a fat fuck in the first place.”
With Gillespie, life is approached in a full sprint, like a kid on vacation tearing down the beach to jump into the sea. He has come up with a fun game to play while in the car (albeit not one that is suitable for women. Or children) and he proves how much of a Glass Half Full guy he is when he reveals the upside to being fined $10,000 for hitting a construction worker with your vehicle. Gillespie speaks freely and unfiltered, which is quite welcome. I mean, let's be honest, those guys in bars who play the electronic punching game really are dickheads.
Although he proudly admits he’s not ready to be an adult (he confesses to pooping his pants eight times since he’s turned 18), he has some solid material on grown-up issues. Gillespie has a great point when he discusses how the youth of today are a result of Ritalin in the 80s and laments that in order for him to get proper medical care, he has to be involved in a car wreck. He seems disheartened by the fact that turning 30 means you shouldn’t have sex in a car anymore (and somewhat hopeful when he finds someone in the audience with a different point of view) and when he points out how much the NFL draft has in common with the slave trade of the 1800s, well...to be honest, I’m surprised it never dawned on me before.
There is a real sense of light-hearted fun that is infused in Gillespie’s comedy that makes him relatable and easy to laugh with. The few times he interacts with the crowd are truly hysterical moments, especially his interaction with “Dough Boy” and the 41-year-old woman who looks beautiful for her age.
I really can’t recommend this CD highly enough. Even when Gillespie dares to tread where you feel you’ve been before (i.e. football is a gay sport, this generation is in trouble), it’s done so in a way that is head and shoulders above what you might have previously heard. What can I say? I freely admit it. I’ve got Stever Fever.