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Recommended Listening

Kyle Cease delivers a well-crafted comedy album with uniquely tilted material

 

By Michael Shashoua / Jester Editor-In-Chief

 

In what may be his valedictory as a stand-up comic, Kyle Cease is releasing a CD/DVD album with Comedy Central on September 4, “I Highly Recommend This.” The material on this album is an inventive blend of the surreal and an attitude that fits what might be considered “alternative comedy.”

 

Cease has said recently he plans to leave stand-up for motivational speaking, and his promotional website already reflects this. If this album is the height of what he will reach as a stand-up, it’s a good achievement indeed. In a piece that sounds like it’s taking on that “alternative” scene, but really is simpatico with it, “Impressions That The Alternative Scene Won’t Like,” Cease primes listeners for the standard, old Las Vegas-like impersonations and then pulls the rug out from under that.

 

But that’s just a conceptual trick. The strongest pieces here are ones with substantive content such as “The News Is Planning To Kill You,” in which Cease wonders why there are always Prozac commercials between all the depressing stories on local newscasts, and “Things You Need To Forget/Asian Painter,” in which Cease manages to walk the line of making an exaggerated Asian accent serve a genuinely funny, not offensive bit. It’s an ambitious comedic idea that Cease pulls off.

 

Lastly, the highlight of the whole album is entitled “Bits The Mainstream Will Think Are Really Weird,” a shaggy dog tale of what one should really do to take best advantage of a genie, delivered as if being in that situation is something that could conceivably really happen. Cease commands a developed onstage persona that makes material like this work.

 

So in short, one has to highly recommend “I Highly Recommend This.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feedback? Email michael.shashoua@jesterjournal.com

© 2005-2017 Michael Shashoua