Monday, September 23, 2013

Pete Correale's "Give It A Rest"

Maybe it’s me, but when I listen to Pete Correale, I hear Bill Burr. Like, the New York version of Bill Burr. Quickly perturbed, quick to raise his voice, and funnier the more riled up he gets, it’s easy to hear the resemblance (not to mention the timbre and tonality of their voices are quite similar). The comparison shouldn’t be interpreted as a negative. As a big fan of Burr, it’s quite the opposite. If I tell you a movie reminds me of a Pegg/Frost/Wright collaboration, then you should most definitely see that movie. Likewise, if you enjoy Burr’s humor and comedic sensibility, you should most definitely snatch up a copy of Correale’s “Give It A Rest.”

The CD begins with an introduction from Jim Breuer that, although some may find enjoyable to hear, I found unnecessary mostly because Correale truly is a funny guy. I don’t need a testimonial from anyone telling me what I’m chuckling at is funny; my laughter is all the proof I need. From the very first bit you know you’re in good hands and for the next 60 minutes it’s nothing but laughs all the way.

There are a number of things, most of them inconsequential, that get Correale riled up and because he’s sweating the little things, the humor is amplified. I enjoyed listening to him get bent out of shape as he shops for a new mattress (and you have to admit, that whole situation is a little weird), receives a pet-themed Christmas card from a friend, and questions the morality of placing a Tot Finder fire sticker on his own bedroom window.

Correale has a confident and secure stage presence yet never comes across as condescending or better than the next guy. He’s just a regular Joe trying to figure out why it’s such a bad thing if he misidentifies someone’s race (“alligators/crocodiles”) and who cares if he can’t hang out with his buddy and not have a beer? He doesn’t understand why anyone would want to die doing something they love and why are we sweating the money America owes to China when we all know we’re never gonna pay it back? The deeper we delve into these topics, the richer the comedy becomes.

As much as he can’t understand why people get themselves so worked up about losing their cat, Correale is more than willing to lose a little bit of sleep as he enthusiastically ponders Tom Brady and his extreme luck, explains why we should all be grateful dogs can’t talk, and questions why we still announce smoking isn’t allowed on planes.

The album ends with a bonus track that includes some bits Correale claims the producer didn’t think were funny enough to include with the rest of his set. I have to side with the comedian on this one. His thoughts on dolphins and horses are solid, as equally funny as the rest of his act, and I’m glad they didn’t get left behind. All in all, this is a great CD that deserves to be included in the library of anyone who loves to laugh.

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