Month: December 2011

Jen Kirkman, “Hail to the Freaks”

Jen Kirkman is the funniest person in Chelsea Handler’s Chelsea Lately circle of comedian friends. By a mile. And then some. Kirkman proves that once again (or if you’re not familiar with her or the E! programming, for the first time) on her sophomore album, “Hail to the Freaks,” (A Special Thing Records). If you didn’t know this was Kirkman’s second stand-up comedy CD, oh, she’ll remind you several times throughout her hourlong set. Not that you needed to have done your homework beforehand. “I’m going to tell you about my life, and there’s a lot to tell,” she says....

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Tommy Johnagin, “Stand Up Comedy 2”

At the outset of Tommy Johnagin‘s second stand-up comedy CD — titled, well, “Stand Up Comedy 2” — the comedian implores upon the audience: “Don’t suck. I’m going to hold up my end. I’m going to need you guys to bring it also.” And bring it he does. Over the course of 14 tracks and 57 minutes, Johnagin may not have put much thought into titling his bits. Or did he? They follow the seemingly ordinary theme set forth by the disc’s overall title, with routines such as “Humorous story about drugs,” “Comedic take on drinking,” “Baby jokes,” and “Skits about...

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Daniel Tosh, “Happy Thoughts” (CD/DVD)

At this point in his career, Daniel Tosh has two different personas in the public’s eye. To strangers, he’s a clever stand-up comedian with observations on modern life and current events. To Comedy Central viewers — particularly boys-to-men in their teens and 20s, he’s the guy they look to to rip into the idiots who embarrass themselves on the Internet. Really they’re the same comedian, except the latter’s persona has made it easier for the former, delivering ready-made material to built-in audiences of young viewers. With a rakish grin, Tosh often is smiling while making fun of you and himself...

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Christina Pazsitzky, “It’s Hard Being A Person”

Christina Pazsitzky makes it easy to laugh at and with her. Pazsitsky opens her debut comedy disc, “It’s Hard Being A Person,” (Rooftop Comedy) from Go Bananas by telling the audience how happy she is to be in Cincinnati, because it means she has escaped from her home in fake Los Angeles and somewhere where they have “Real Looking Dudes.” She further ingratiates herself by engaging in crowd work with said dudes, leading to big and easy laughs about a woman in the audience having sex with a guy who she thinks looks like Wilford Brimley. Then she turns the...

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Open mic: Former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Arlen Specter

At any comedy open mic across America, you’re just as likely to see a senior citizen take the stage as you are a high-school or college student. That’s what makes the mic open. But the other night at Philadelphia’s Helium Comedy Club, 81-year-old Arlen Specter — Pennsylvania’s longtime U.S. Senator and onetime presidential candidate (in 1996) — took a break from his retirement to deliver some jokes at Helium’s open mic night. Among his targets: Former President Bill Clinton, former Pennsylvania Gov. (and former Philly Mayor) Ed Rendell, Herman Cain. Roll the clip! For some perspective, check out this...

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