There are some comedians I’ve stumbled upon who, as much as I like them, very rarely seem to release projects. The reasons for their void in the annals of comedy can be vast and varied but for a fan, it’s never enough. During a trip to California a few years ago, I went to one of the famous “10 Comedians” shows at The Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, CA. It was there that I was first introduced to comics like Lachlan Patterson (mainstream America was recently introduced to him on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing”), Brian Scolaro, and the infuriatingly funny Kirk Fox (infuriating because he's never released a CD).
Add to that wish list the very funny Ian Edwards. He wasn’t at the comedy club during the night in question, but I’ve been fortunate enough to catch him on a number of random TV appearances. Like the aforementioned comics (Patterson and Scolaro both have incredible projects out there, but they’re long overdue for the next round), there’s never been much of an opportunity to take his comedy home and plug it into your iTunes.
“100% Half-Assed” is the debut recording from Team Coco Records and it’s a nice introduction to what I hope is a long string of many more projects to come. Edwards is laid back, approachable, and extremely comfortable on stage. He doesn’t shy away from addressing the crowd and when doing so backfires on him (that couple in the audience most definitely isn’t a couple), he takes it in stride and laughs along at the spontaneity of the moment.
Admittedly, it takes a little while for things to get going. Edwards starts off with bits on identifying Asian ethnicities, growing up poor in Jamaica, and the difference between accidentally getting a girl pregnant and getting a girl pregnant on purpose (SPOILER ALERT: There is none). They’re all fun ideas but there wasn’t much that garnered more than a smirk and a chuckle from me.
About 15 minutes into the album, though, Edwards begins talking about being a vegan and what it’s like to go home and tell your mom you won’t be eating her cooking and we are off. Edwards hits his stride and it’s like a switch was flipped. From that point on he kills it with one solid bit after another, as is proven by the woman in the audience who is laughing so hard, it sounds like she’s being stabbed while falling down a flight of stairs. Edwards is passionate about his convictions (You can tell Jesse Jackson isn’t a good leader because no one ever tried to kill him) and perhaps sometimes his convictions go too far (He is amused when he points out he turned off half the crowd with a story about fictional people he made up solely for a joke) but when you're as funny as Edwards is, you can get away with it.
My personal favorite moments included his explanation of why there is no such thing as a shark attack and his bit where he puts himself into a Bruce Lee movie - on the bad guy’s side - is wonderful. Edwards wraps things up talking about people of blended ethnicities. He marvels at the fact that these people are arguably the most beautiful people in the world…and their parents are always the ugliest people from their respective races. As he gives examples of ugly bi-racial couples who would have attractive babies each one is more over-the-top and hilarious than the last.
It’s nice to have this project - finally! - from Edwards. Although it takes a few minutes to get the car moving, once we do we’re not stopping for anything. I hope you went to the bathroom before you buckled in, kids, because once we hit the Edwards Comedy Highway there are no rest stops on the agenda.