Published Oct 06, 2017There's an undeniable power to the subtle genius of Dana Gould's jokes on his wonderfully clever new standup record. As a rule, Gould's observational incredulity is delivered in a rather deliberative, patient manner, and so his energy is pensive and suspenseful. His jokes, which are often setup/punch line in their form, are wonderfully told and well-paced, like a great, totally contained short story.
But then there's also a manic aspect to Gould's work, which often manifests itself when he's setting a scene or doing any kind of impersonation. When recalling his father mistaking Prince for Little Richard, Gould not only writes an amazing joke, he does a spot-on Little Richard.
With shades of Gary Larson's Far Side, Gould imagines a conversation between bears and, within the same bit, wonders what it might be like if a chimpanzee was ever outfitted with JFK's missing brain.
Gould only shows his age and showbiz status when musing about Charles Manson or Hitler (who is sadly still topical) or suggesting that the current backlash against anyone who speaks out against Donald Trump seems wildly disproportionate to the times he ridiculed Ronald Reagan while he was a sitting president. He addresses political correctness in art with a specific kind of personal detachment (you'll see) and ridicules the Fast & Furious franchise with some cock talk.
He also makes things personal, describing single life as an older divorced guy with sharpness and wisdom. Over the years, some of his more famous peers have told stories about Gould, describing him as a true king of standup. All the evidence to back up such a claim is right here on Mr. Funny Man. (Kill Rock Stars)