Sean Sullivan Likes Comedy – February Album Reviews

sullivanI can’t stress how impressive it is to me, watching a comedian who like Keith Robinson is just a comedian. Plenty of people use stand-up comedy to springboard to other mediums but the increasingly rare breed of comedian only looking to do stand-up generally produces some of the best comedy.

 

This is the case with my two favorite specials this month. These two comedians are strictly comedians. They’ve done some acting here and there but for over 25 years, they’ve been committed to stand-up comedy and stand-up comedy alone.

 

My favorite album/special/hour/whatever the fuck was Earthquake’s These Ain’t Jokes. Numbers 1 and 2 were really close but the edge is going to Earthquake because I really didn’t know what to expect. I know I saw his HBO Half Hour from 2004 but really I’ve only known him by reputation. I will give any comedian who has a career as long and successful as Earthquake’s a large amount of respect because he’s pulled all of that off while still being called Earthquake. You don’t call yourself Earthquake and not become a punchline unless you’re really good.

 

(via hereistv.com)

His jokes were Earth-shattering. Boom. (via hereistv.com)

And he’s really good. Like really, really good. This is a great special. I won’t at all be surprised if this show’s up in the top 10 for the year. It’s high energy and smart and extremely funny. He is in complete control. I only listened to the album because I don’t have Showtime (keep an eye open for my “Help me get Showtime” Kickstarter campaign coming soon). He’s getting the energy from a crowd that I’m only used to seeing in clubs. So many times on these one hour specials, the crowd seems to be bused in and they’re good but this was Earthquake in front of Earthquake’s crowd. Do yourself a favor and give it a watch or listen.

 

The other lifer comic with a special this month is Keith Robinson. There is a moment about 15 minutes into his first one hour special where a woman gasps in shock to a detail in a story and Keith responds with the most perfectly timed, “Shut up.” I’ve watched this moment about 15 times. It kills me.
(via cc.com)

(via cc.com)

As the one hour special becomes as common as the half hour special, being given out to really good comedians who maybe haven’t put in the time to really perfect the material over the course of a career. Back of the Bus Funny is the exception. This is a comedian who has worked consistently for over 20 years. A comedian who hasn’t had as many opportunities to showcase his material on television.

 

The first sign that this is going to be something unique is when Kevin Hart hops out onstage to introduce Keith. I’ve been listening to a couple of podcasts that have talked about the making of this special and from all indications, this was all Kevin Hart’s idea. Keith is responsible for escorting Kevin, Kurt Metzger, Big Jay Oakerson, Marina Franklin, etc through the world of stand-up, serving as a mentor while often being eclipsed in fame by his proteges. That someone as famous and as rich and as busy as Kevin Hart felt compelled to produce this special is really indicative of one, the generosity of Kevin Hart and two, the importance of Keith Robinson.

 

Top Five for February 2015

1. Earthquake These Ain’t Jokes

2. Keith Robinson Back of the Bus Funny

3. Aziz Ansari Buried Alive

4. Andy Huggins Inspired by True Events

5. Eddie Peppitone In Ruins

 

Rounding on the top five are the album versions of two Netflix specials from 2014 that I hadn’t seen and an album that we’ll talk about in a minute. Back of the Bus Funny is Keith Robinson’s first one hour special in a thirty plus year career and it feels like the culmination of years and years of hard work. In contrast, Aziz Ansari’s Buried Alive is his third hour. When Keith Robinson started, Aziz was in diapers but thirty years later, Aziz is selling out arenas. I’ve been hard on his stand-up in the past but this special was new ground for him. I’ve grown to expect stories of watching R.Kelly with Kanye West but instead, he gave us a really thoughtful hour. Its not perfect by any means but he’s definitely evolving.

 

Eddie Peppitone’s In Ruins is another collection of his patented madness. Its manic and loud and odd and funny. Basically what people have come to expect from him. Eddie is a comedian that I have the utmost respect for but who I occasionally have found really head scratching. In Ruins definitely sheds light on what I’ve been missing. If I can’t see this tornado of energy in person, this special is a pretty good substitute.

 

And the February Who? Comedy Album of the Month goes to….

 

Andy Huggins Inspired by True Events

(via comedysceneinhouston.com)

(via comedysceneinhouston.com)

I had never heard of Andy Huggins. I saw the album cover on itunes and thought, “Who is this old guy that was able to get his album on itunes? That’s adorable. Good for you old guy.” I googled him and very quickly took my ageist condescension and shoved it straight up my own ass. Within two clicks on google, I found out that Andy has been at it for well over 30 years (seems to be the theme of the month) and was part of the Texas Outlaws Comics, the group of comics out of Houston probably that produced Sam Kinison, Bill Hicks, and Ron Shock.

 

As an amateur comedy historian and amateur boy detective, I could not have been more overjoyed to make this discovery that was, in fact, not a discovery at all. This is a really funny album.

 

Tight jokes told in succession. It seems idiotic to break it down like that but so often people stray too far from that simple formula that when you stumble across an album of good jokes, its really refreshing.

 

Mel Brooks, Live at the Geffen

Aziz Ansari, Buried Alive

Bubba Bradley, Save a Raft (Ride a Fat Kid)

Rodney Perry, 44 and Still Ticking

Ryan Singer, Two

Andy Huggins, Inspired By True Events 

Paul Mecurio, It’s Not Me, It’s the World

Matt Braunger, Big Dumb Animal 

Brian Gaar, Jokes I Wrote At Work

Rosie O’Donnell, A Heartfelt Stand Up

Tom McCaffrey, Adventures in Comedy

Eddie Peppitone, In Ruins

Jarrod Harris, Present and Talkative 

Christian Spicer, Moment in Time

Dino Archie, Choosy Lover

Nick Rehak, Nick Rehak Isn’t Funny

Andy Peters, Exclamation Mark Question Point (Hulu Special)

Nick DiPaolo, Another Senseless Killing 

Alfred Robles, Straight Out of East Los

Earthquake, These Ain’t Jokes

Keith Robinson, Back of the Bus Funny

Various Artists, The Un & Only (rerelease)

Dan Cummins, Chinese Affection* 



Sean Sullivan

Sean is a contributor for UnSceneComedy.com