Comedy Review: Michael Ian Black’s “Very Famous”

Michael Ian Black has a comedy special. We have opinions. Watch them collide.

Sax Carrby Sax Carr

Michael Ian Black’s sophomore album (and first time Comedy Central Special) drops August 6th.Well the album comes out on the 9th and the special on the 6th, probably to avoid people at home listening the the album instead of watching the special, as you know how much Americans hate to watch TV if they can avoid it. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy and here is our unadulterated review (for our adulterated review, just skip every other paragraph):

Anyone who has followed Black’s career is pretty familiar with his gift for casual absurdity and shockingly dry sarcasm. His stand-up is not much different. With a charming indignity, Black tells increasingly personal stories and explores his unusual (if surprisingly appealing) take on life.

“I have decided that if I cannot make air travel pleasant for myself, the least I can do is make it unpleasant for somebody else.”

That is some very compelling advice. Ahhh hell, why not watch that clip yourself: 
Michael Ian Black – I Hate Flying
JokesJoke of the DayFunny Jokes

His jokes tend to be long form, and people who prefer quick punchy comedy will not find it here. Instead Black offers a comedy style that is more akin to a slow sipping wine then a series of shots. I would highly recommend this album, just not in your car. If the worst thing said about “Very Famous” is that it’s more of a “thinking man’s” comedy, well I think that’s pretty darn good.

Of course there will probably be some that complain the material is very visually dependant, and that’s a common issue with comedy albums that are also television specials. As much as I am a comedy purist I can’t in good conscience ask any comedian to avoid doing anything with their body while performing, lest it get lost in the subsequent album. Still, if you have to choose between album and TV special, you might want to choose the latter, or develop an imagination. Your choice.

The strongest jokes involve the subjects of skydiving and air travel. He also discusses pet adoption and in the special’s best routine a certain medical procedure that, without giving too much away here, every man over 40 should have once a year. Of course, in this occurrence it was an emergency procedure… but perhaps I’ve said too much. These jokes are more stories then punch-lines, and it won’t stop you laughing.

Stand-Up is a relatively new skill for the established sketch veteran, but he attacks this album (and its special) with aplomb. It’s an enjoyable ride and more than worth the price of admission.  As the man points out in the special, he could probably charge more:

“I’m a professional comedian! The way I see it, you owe me money, bitch!”

Michael Ian Black’s “Very Famous” premieres Saturday August 6th on Comedy Central, and the UNCENSORED album comes out just after that on the 9th. You can pre-order that HERE!

Check out the Album with this handy dandy widget: