Author Archive

brooklyn

Wyatt Cenac

Brooklyn
Netflix

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.

 
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.

 
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.

 
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.

 
what

Bo Burnham

what.
Comedy Central Records

By Nick A. Zaino III

Burnham is very self-aware, of his image as the nerdy theatre kid who was once picked on in school, and of someone for whom fame came quickly. And he uses all of that in his show.

 
heyday

Tom Shillue

Heyday
BSeen Media

By Nick A. Zaino III

There is some genuine heartbreak here amongst the jokes, and an earnestness that could be deadly if handled poorly. But Shillue can and does handle it, and it’s a shame there’s only one album left to go.

 
 
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