Stand-up on CD long ago outlived its utility. A cursory YouTube search can deliver hours of stand-up from even the hackiest of comedians (Dane Cook obviously included). But albums, as well as Comedy Central and HBO specials, are still what comedians’ careers are measured by, which is why even so-called “indie” comics like David Cross, Patton Oswalt and Eugen Mirman (who is mainly known for playing the landlord on Flight of the Conchords) are still pumping out albums regularly.
God Is a Twelve-Year-Old Boy with Asperger’s is Mirman’s third album of absurdist stand-up, featuring bits on corporations that piss Mirman off (his rant about an unnamed airline that screwed up his luggage on an epic scale takes up the album’s latter third), bear attacks and vaguely racist Internet banner ads. Mirman’s stand-up jumps between hilarious self-effacing self-confessions (his explanation of being in special ed in middle school is too funny to verify) and wry observations about whatever catches his fancy when he takes the stage, and God Is… is an excellent distillation of his work in the three years since his last album, En Garde, Society!
Mirman’s stand-up suffers, however, after multiple spins because many of the bits are hit or miss and unfortunately slight. When’s he’s not lobbing laugh grenades (a joke about asking fellow whale watchers for condoms, and saying that he was worried today’s jocks might give him an unsatisfactory, and weird, blowjob come to mind), he’s doing over-long bits on banner ad surveys that are only half as funny as they should be. For every segment comparing God to a 12-year-old with Aspergers that actually makes sense, there’s one where Mirman rants angrily about how his power company screwed up billing him and turned off his gas.
None of which should be used to dissuade you from giving Mirman a shot; he’s one of the more inventive and cutting comedians working today. If anything God Is… is a great primer for what to expect when seeing Mirman live: random printouts from whatever he found on the Internet that day, tirades about a company that screwed him over recently and ephemeral jokes you might be able to use at the water cooler.
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