Rare does stand-up comedy receive the academic scrutiny it deserves. Perhaps its inherent in dealing with an absurd, often insincere community filled with whack jobs and frequently abrasive personalities. Nonetheless, someone must tame the lion and comedian Ari Shaffir has taken up whip and chair for the task with a selection of comedy album commentaries you can listen to free on his Skeptic Tank podcast.
In each episode (of 3 so far), Shaffir sits down with a popular stand-up comedian and listens to one of their early albums, pausing each track intermittently to discuss the joke, what inspired it and anything else that might be relevant. The commentary is fantastic insight into the construction of a stand-up routine and full of humor in its own right.
In the first episode, Ari reviews his own album Revenge for the Holocaust.
You can’t beat the cost of free for 3 full comedy albums from established comedians plus buttery commentary on the side. Shaffir seems eager to do as many of these as possible so expect more in the future.
Check out Ari Shaffir’s Skeptic Tank podcast on iTunes or on his website at AriTheGreat.com. Shaffir is a vice-friendly existentialist comedian destined for a Comedy Central special in the near future. Jump on the bandwagon now before it gets rollin’.