Published May 07, 2019In a Norman Rockwell portrait of Josh Gondelman listening to music, the gramophone would, at a tastefully unobtrusive volume, be spinning Liquid Swords. That's the kind of subterfuge we hear on Dancing on a Weeknight, a brilliant standup record in which Gondelman often plays up his American apple pie exterior and demeanour as a disarming vehicle for dropping killer jokes on our heads.
A TV writer, formerly for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and currently on Desus & Mero, Gondelman possesses a road- and life-tested penchant for smart silliness. He plays upon his own wholesomeness to tell stories about hanging out with seniors who take no shit, and his newfound domesticity as a newlywed in New York whose only child is a pug.
He explores his Jewish heritage with a kind of baffled detachment and he skewers any kind of overconfidence, which you can tell he views as both a bonkers and admirable (occasionally even enviable) attribute. And every once in a while, he'll drop a hip-hop lyric that only a head would, and make us follow him down some pop culture hole that always yields gold.
There's a warmth and comfort to Gondelman's comedy, which is intriguing because it's also lightly laced with the angst-laden uncertainty of its era. Dancing on a Weeknight exhibits something rare in contemporary standup: well-informed optimism as a genuine, laugh-inducing balm. (Blonde Medicine)