road work

Dave Attell

Road Work
Comedy Central

By Nick A. Zaino III

Road Work isn’t about telling revealing stories or setting up a string of one-liners as much as obliterating any boundaries of taste and tact. It’s raising the stakes, joke by joke, topping the deplorableness of the last riff.

dirty daddy

Bob Saget

Dirty Daddy
It Books

By Nick A. Zaino III

The biggest revelation may be how unabashedly Saget loves Full House and America’s Funniest Home Videos, even though they created an image he fought to escape.

Peter McGraw Joel Warner

The Humor Code

Peter McGraw and Joel Warner
Simon & Schuster

By Josiah M. Hesse

Despite the simplistic framework, Warner and McGraw deliver a sprawling, exhaustive amount of research. Compressed into an accessible, beautifully woven narrative still cohesive enough to be satisfying, their benign violation theory feels pervasive when they acknowledge moral violations remain constantly in flux throughout time, geography and culture.

folk hero

Nick Thune

Folk Hero
Comedy Central

By Elise Czajkowski

As with so many specials, it’s not that Thune isn’t funny or fun to watch; he has plenty of charm, and it’s easy to see that an hour in his company could be a pleasant night out. But that feeling doesn’t quite translate to his recording.

waiting for 2042

Hari Kondabolu

Waiting for 2042
Kill Rock Stars

By Daniel Berkowitz

The talent of 30-year-old New York comic Hari Kondabolu is undeniable: he’s cerebral, witty and occasionally daring. Waiting For 2042, however, is not as uniformly distinguished as its author.

this will make an excellent horcrux

Jackie Kashian

This Will Make an Excellent Horcrux
All Things Comedy

By Nick A. Zaino III

Kashian is smart, bracing without being bitter, and she knows how to keep the punchlines rolling without seeming manic or insincere. It’s the kind of set that might make those who look down on “club comedy” as the petri dish of the lowest common denominator in stand up reconsider.

 
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