I’m not the smartest guy in the world. I’m not saying I’m a big dummy, but I also know enough to know that I don’t know a lot about a lot. If the conversation steers toward comedy, TV, movies, or the Muppets, then I’m good to go. Once we stray into the territory of the NFL, politics, Ayn Rand, or anything having to do with motor vehicles, I shut the hell up. I smile, nod, and pretend I tooooootally agree 100% with what is being said. Basically, I don’t know about grown-up guy stuff.
I especially don’t know about grown-up grown-up stuff. Evolution, the theory of relativity, nanotechnology, science, robotics, microcosmic theory...I can’t even pretend I’m keeping up with those topics. I don’t smile, nod, or pretend I’m agreeing. Instead, my brain just explodes inside of my skull and I do my best to sit still and hope no one has noticed.
On his new album, “Explosion Land,” David Huntsberger covers all of those grown-up grown-up topics (and more) like it’s nothing and, don’t ask me how, I kept up. Not only did I keep up, but Huntsberger made it funny. And not only did he make it funny (really funny) ...he actually made it interesting.
Perhaps it’s because he moves from topic to topic so fast, his rapid-fire pace forcing you to pay attention. He doesn’t give you time to be confused. He eases you into each thought and theory, explaining when needed without being condescending, and the result is a crash course on laughing at the marvels of the world surrounding us all.
Huntsberger begins with the tale of a train ride he shared with a woman who had recently undergone a brain injury...and had a lot of opinions. It is during this story he introduces his theory that although you may not know exactly what you believe, you definitely know when you think the beliefs of someone else are wrong. That’s the basic foundation of this CD - explaining why he believes certain points of view and tenets held by others are wrong. He isn’t a dick about it and he doesn’t insult or degrade those who believe in mermaid goddesses or Christianity. Where another comic who feels the same would attack, Huntsberger instead chooses to explain. It’s a conversation, not a condemnation.
Of course, the fact Huntsberger keeps you laughing throughout his time on stage offsets any offense one might feel and he plays Devil’s Advocate for both sides quite well. He questions the faith of religion but also the faith it takes to believe in science. He doesn’t want to ruffle the feathers of feminists who believe God is a woman, but he does wonder why they would want to claim it in the first place.
There are some really good bits on prosthetic limbs and how far they haven’t come compared to other scientific achievements and I too have wondered why, if Earth is traveling and spinning as fast as we’re told it is, we aren’t sticking our heads out of the window with the wind in our hair, vomiting all over ourselves. His re-enactment of a patient with Tourette’s undergoing surgery to have a chip implanted in his head cracked me up, as did his whisper/smolder impression of a man who insists he “didn’t come from no damn mon-kay.”
Huntsberger makes smart things fun and his Cargo Theory - explaining how humans really got here - made me appreciate just how creatively his mind operates. The next time I find myself in a conversation that’s way over my head, I still won’t know how to react to things I can’t grasp mentally. But I will have a great explanation for the weird twitch I get every time I step out of the shower.