Christopher Titus: Love is Evol

Christopher Titus: Love is Evol
There's a moment in Chris Titus's new comedy special when things switch from funny to downright uncomfortable. At the climax of a bit about his failed marriage, Titus leans over on a heart-shaped couch, with the house lights low. He's made his hand into the shape of a gun and pointed it at his head as he recounts his emotional state, ready to end it all. Then he remembers the hot rods he built and it's back to the jokes. Even though the scenario seems out of place in a stand up act, it's the essence of Titus's comedy: raw emotion buried under a litany of macho jokes and anger. The California native quickly lays out Love is Evol's M.O. with his opening line: "If you've never truly contemplated suicide, then you've never been in love." He then takes 80 minutes excising his personal demons on stage. From his mother ("my umbilical cord was a crazy straw") to his father ("on alcoholics anonymous' wish-list") and his ex-wife ("a thieving harlot"), no one is spared from his flippant jokes as he delivers frank admissions of personal tragedy. Titus can be crude at times, it would be easy to accuse him of misogyny and he freely admits his own short comings, describing himself as "a very thin layer of charming with some funny sprinkles wrapped around some creamy centre of huge, arrogant a-hole." But doing that ignores the emotional pain behind his comedy. The DVD includes a behind-the-scenes look at the cover photo shoot, as well as fan confessionals of their worst break-ups, but they lack the visceral humour of the feature. Love is Evol is hard to take at times, but for those of us who like to roll our emotions in a ball and let it fester in our chests until it forms an ulcer, it's a breath of fresh air. (Paramount)