Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Review: Doug Benson's Unbalanced Load

Funnyman: Doug Benson
Album: Unbalanced Load
Label: Comedy Central Records
Format: CD (retail), various (iTunes)
Length: 55:30 minutes
Available: August 4, 2009
Price: $10-$13, depending on format

After being released into relative obscurity, Benson follows up Professional Humoredian with a wider release, Unbalanced Load. It's funny, and you will laugh, unless you aren't much of a fan of the English language in which case I suggest you find a comic that speaks whatever it is that you are. I listened to Unbalanced Load and enjoyed it immensely, and I also subjected a car full of people to it a few days later and they all loved it-- and I should note, they are not this blog's target demo.

Doug's a rare creature in that the comedian always sounds like he's having a fantastic time during a performance. As such, you're going to have a great time, too. As a performer there's no limit to the joy he seems to be having while telling you about pot, The Dark Knight, and VH-1's consistent line-up of programming.

Longtime fans may recognize a lot of his jokes from recent television appearances, the Comedy Death Ray double CD compilation, and his other performances. (That shows you're paying attention, good for you.) Thankfully, there's a lot of stuff you most likely have never heard, including a delightful bit involving the Hoover Dam and the best knock-knock jokes you could ever hope for. The "Segues" track is also brilliant, the kind of thing the 10-year-old in you would probably want to listen to repeatedly, memorize, and perform for others. Some of the material-- recorded 4/20/2009, har har-- is already a smidge dated. For example VH-1's Best Week Ever has been canceled, but the bit surrounding it has less to do with the show itself and more to do with car accidents.

As always, we'll skip the spoilers and say that this is one of the funniest albums we've heard recently. It's been a great year for comedy releases, and this may be one of the best things released to stores so far in 2009. In particular, if you're a closet fan of VH-1's Celebreality programming block, a lover of movies in general, or a person curious to hear how a comic deals with hecklers who shout out things like "you're gay."

Other Notes
- Unlike many other Comedy Central Records releases, there is no DVD or bonus physical material. So get the MP3 or the CD.
- You may have heard a couple of the jokes before on the CDR album, but probably not. If you haven't heard the Comedy Death Ray comp, go ahead and get that one after you hear this one.
- There are bonus tracks
- If you want a free sample of Doug grab his podcast, I Love Movies
- The CD comes in a cardboard fold-open sleeve, not a jewel case
- If you're the kind of person who freaks out about language and adulty stuff, a) stop reading this blog and b) consider buying a much less funny comedy album, because this one is awesome

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