Even though we’ve never met, I feel like Pete Holmes is an old college buddy. Every time I hear he’s coming back into town (or, in this case, releasing a new CD), I get excited. I always have a good time hanging out with him, he makes me laugh, and his friendly good-guy vibe is nice to be around. Each time he visits he has a new weapon in his arsenal of “Pierce!!!” gags and even though Holmes himself admits they are stupid, they still crack me up. They’re so ridiculous, in fact, they crack Holmes up as well and it’s fun to watch him snicker at his own utter silliness.
“Nice Try, The Devil” is no different and another fun visit with the guy who likes to point out that we are indeed having fun (His declaration that something is “McDonald’s” is quite infectious and my friends and I have already begin throwing it at each other). Holmes has a wholesome quality about him that is inviting and welcoming. Perhaps it’s his “aw-shucks” approach to life or his overwhelming fear of The Rapture that has held over from his childhood. Because he is self-aware and realizes how comes across, he's able to squeeze some nice observations from it (most notably this being the only one of many alternate realities where he’s not a youth pastor).
Holmes has given us a thoroughly enjoyable CD that is packed with 57 minutes of solid laughter. The first time he mentions the show is coming to an end (I say “the first time” because after he makes this statement, there are still three more tracks to come), my inner comedy lover screamed “Noooo!” I wanted more. And I got it. The second time he hints that we’re almost done, I got sad again. And greedy. Yes, I wanted more and I got it but now that I got it, I wanted more more. And there is. Holmes generously continues serving up one hilarious anecdote (or group butt-clench) after another.
You never know what Holmes is going to throw at you, so it’s best to expect anything. And everything. Breast milk? Check. The most off-key greeting at the pearly gates you'll ever hear? Got it. An amazing cake-baking/safe sex metaphor? Yup. Even when I didn’t get the reference, I got the joke. For example, although I had no idea which character from Street Fighter Haggar is (At first I kept picturing the viking from the Sunday comics), I was still able to keep up with and follow Holmes’s hilarious “what if video game characters went to the doctor” bit.
When Holmes actually does wrap things up, he does so with the amazing story of his encounter with a telemarketer. It’s a great capper to an already-great set and yes...it made me want more (Don’t worry. If you spring for the CD/DVD combo package of this release, you’ll get it). The man in the audience during an awkward pause summed it all up best. This album is McDonald’s.