We here at Mind Equals Blown have been commonly known for providing music coverage of all genres and styles. However, one that hasn’t been delved into as often that I feel gets swept under the rug is spoken word. While many forget about the musical medium from time to time, it’s one that I find myself coming back to the most of all, varying many subgenres and attitudes. The most popular of these subgenres? Stand-up comedy. That being said, there are three pieces of stand-up that I find, for one reason or another, poignant, memorable and often times side-splitting. Charlie Chaplin once said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted”. Well, with this hilarious trio, there’ll be three more days that haven’t been squandered by going without.
1. “I Tell A Story About Birth Control And Deal With A Retarded Heckler” – Patton Oswalt
Sterling, Virginia’s Patton Oswalt has found a lot of laughs from his work on The King Of Queens, as the voice of Ratatouille’s rodent protagonist Remy, as well as through his realistically depressing turn in Young Adult. However, before Oswalt became one of Hollywood’s most underrated character actors, he worked clubs all around the country with his biting, sharply written stand-up. One of his finest recordings comes from his sophomore album Werewolves & Lollipops, which just happens to be my favorite stand-up album of all-time. What starts off as a story about the comedian possibly impregnating a woman through a one-night stand, turns into a professional attack on a heckler who yells out at the wrong time. Though the track gets huge laughs on its own merits, what’s most impressive of all is Oswalt’s canny gift of improvisation…and how he can put it to good use at the drop of a hat.
2. “My 3-Year-Old Is A 3-Year-Old” – Louis C.K.
Louis C.K.’s third stand-up album Hilarious couldn’t have been more aptly named. C.K.’s ability to pull the dark, relatable irony out of everyday life is nothing short of incredible. While the comedian has shown this trait through his HBO & FX series Lucky Louieand Louie, respectively, it’s through his stand-up that C.K. has been able to fully mold his routine. “My 3-Year-Old Is A 3-Year-Old” does an excellent job of showcasing this, contrasting his raucous, rowdy younger daughter to her polite, well-behaved counterpart. Topics range from Fig Newtons to getting ready for school with hilarious results, all adding up to a climax that’ll leave you keeling over with laughter.
3. “Koalas” – Mitch Hedberg
Though the New Jersey comic was taken too young (at 37, due to “multiple drug toxicity”), there was a reason that TIME called Hedberg “the next Seinfeld”. Hedberg’s stand-up was different enough to be called edgy, yet simple enough for universal appeal. On the comedian’s first stand-up album through Comedy Central Records comes “Koalas”, a string of dead-on one-liners, perfectly presenting some of Hedberg’s best material. While no one track can highlight the genius of the comedian’s work, “Koalas” does show his consistent joke structure, as well as his lovable, relatable nature – two qualities that make the comic’s work so wonderful.