It’s not always about the music. Sometimes, it’s about the comedy.
Back when I was in the 6th grade, a whole new world opened up for me. Yes, I was a member of the KISS Army. Sure, we’d rock Van Halen daily and air guitar along to every track better than the band ever did in their videos. The Rolling Stones, Some Girls, was better than a Playboy magazine, dirtier too. Yet, despite entering a world of music discovery, nothing compared to going over to a friend’s house and playing his dad’s Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, George Carlin and Cheech and Chong records. We mixed in some Monty Python now and again to expand our global horizons. This is where I learned that being funny was just about the coolest thing ever—rivaling being a rock star.
Of course, sitting around a stereo with some fellow 6th grade boys listening to dirty words, farts and other strange sounds off a sound effects record would’ve kept us occupied for hours. Yet we learned real comedy from the masters. It was dangerous, it was scary—and it was pure heaven. The best albums always had great production value, music, but best of all, comedy that lived on the edge. Live albums were often a bit difficult to grasp since you missed a lot of the physical comedy, but letting your imaginations run wild was easy to do. Then came cable TV. We put our imaginations on pause and were enslaved by everything visual. If we couldn’t see it, it didn’t happen. The video replaced the single, and MTV had more influence than radio. This also translated to comedy. The live special, tape or DVD totally took over comedy, which wasn’t a bad thing. But going back and listening to a comedy album is a real a treat too. You get fully lost in the words and you have to trust your imagination to provide the visual. Imagine that, you’ve got to use your brain.
Two newer school comedy albums that are totally worth a listen on Qtrax are Denis Leary’s Lock n’ Load and Sarah Silverman’s, Jesus Is Magic. Now, I’m not saying that this comic material is totally everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, you might have to have a pretty strong stomach to get through all of it, but for me it was a great discovery. You can search for your favorite type of comedy on the Genre page on Qtrax. I did and I’m going to do it again. I hadn’t sat and listened to a whole comedy album in it’s entirety since those days at my buddy’s house. It totally brought me back. A good comedy album is pure magic.