The very funny Anthony Jeselnik has enjoyed a successful stand-up career and may be familiar to viewers of the many televised roasts and his recent television series "The Jeselnik Offensive." The deadpan comic is quite skilled at inserting and twisting the knife with some of the best dead baby, rape, and mom-the-holocaust-denier jokes you'll hear all year on his album Caligula. That's really all you need to know - if any of that is likely to set you off, skip it. If not, you're in for a treat.
Given the modern state of comedy relies heavily on pop culture references and personal (sometimes deeply so) material, it's unusual to see someone who is simultaneously old school in his craftsmanship while having material that is a tough sale for network television. While savagely funny and cruel in spots, it's more than a little odd to hear the "this happened to me the other day" set up on some outrageously original material. The conceit that any of this stuff actually happened is so preposterous, it's surprising that Jeslnik didn't mine it for laughs. The absurdity of the material is matched only by its savagery. It's fantastic.
While some comics assault the audience with words, the spaces between the set-ups and punchlines are so big you can actually hear the joke start to land on some members of the audience as it rolls out, hitting the rest of the crowd at a rate of a few people each fraction of a second. His ability to twist the set-up in just the right way really makes this an enjoyable listen and a great barometer to see what you can get away with around your friends.
RIYL: Lisa Lamenelli, Wendy Liebman, jokes that you can only retell to about two or three of your buddies.
April 2, 2013
Album release date February 2013
Review copy courtesy Anthony Jeselnik's PR people