Wyatt Cenac


By Nick A. Zaino III

Cenac is never less than engaging for a little over an hour’s worth of material. He may make fun of the “small batch,” artisanal culture that’s spreading through Brooklyn, but he’s created a special that is very much in the spirit of what that purports to be: intimate and handmade.

food a love story

Jim Gaffigan

Food: A Love Story
Crown Archetype

By Nick A. Zaino III

Gaffigan doesn’t recommend anyone follow his unhealthy path. He recognizes there is an obesity problem in America, and lampoons it frequently. But he still wants to love what he’s eating.

First of Dismay

Neil Hamburger

First of Dismay
Drag City

By John Wenzel

Figuring out what makes Hamburger so magnetic is part of the masochistic fun. Is it his carnie inflection? His abusive, unpredictable rage and profanity? His spot-on critiques of consumer culture that have made him a must-follow on Twitter? Ultimately it’s all in service of the mood he creates.

poking a dead frog

Mike Sacks

Poking a Dead Frog
Penguin Books

By Nick A. Zaino III

Comedy writing is the cohesive thread throughout the book, but it can be read and enjoyed by any comedy fan. Sacks sets his history, he’s done his research, and he has pulled some wonderful detail from his subjects.

mating season

Shane Mauss

Mating Season
New Wave Dynamics

By Elise Czajkowski

Mauss’s hour is intended as a themed hour on the animalistic nature of humans. It’s hard not to appreciate the attempt at cohesion and a greater story, but the material doesn’t quite live up to framework.