Let Me Put My Thoughts in You

January 01, 1970

(Shout Factory, 75 minutes)

 

www.shoutfactory.com/

 

 BY BILL HOLMES

 

Dana Gould returns with his first comedy release in over ten
years, and if you’re familiar with his first album (Funhouse) you’ll be aptly prepared for his offbeat and alternative
approach to stand-up. Maybe. Because
even if you thought the Funhouse routine about Mike Tyson fighting “waves of retarded schoolgirls” was not quite
off the charts, the closing set piece on this show (“Nightmare Alley”) will still make you cringe. I have rarely
seen a comic go so far out on a limb with a character, almost daring you to turn away, and then pull
you back from the brink with the simple addition of a couple of hand gestures –
a veritable wink to let you know he was really in control the whole time.  Of course, having watched him seamlessly
stitch together wildly disparate themes with flawless callbacks, I should have
know that all along, but Gould’s strength is making his prepared work look
extemporaneous.

 

 

That’s not to say alternative comics don’t have great one-liners.
Gould – a writer for The Simpsons for
seven years – is razor sharp, especially when discussing his own frailties, his
marriage and his dysfunctional family. Recalling his father’s two emotions as
“rage and suppressed rage”, he decides to adopt because genetically his balls
“are full of poison”. He’s been married so long that his best pick up lines are
notes from the job jar. He scores when riffing on Larry King (priceless) and
Nancy Grace (“She looks like something that jumped out of your headlights”) or
pondering the wonders of the astronaut diaper.  Gould also dispenses three classic advice tips
as “words to live by”, including why you might need to eat a particular dessert
like it’s an ear of corn. (Trust him on that one.)

 

 

The show was recorded at Chicago’s Second City Theatre in 2008. Director
Bob Odenkirk opens and closes the set with Gould in his dressing room a la Raging Bull. Like that title character,
Gould is a physical performer who channels anger and frustration as a vehicle
for art. Those expecting shtick and toilet humor should look elsewhere for
laughs, but those willing to sign to this adventure will be rewarded.

 

 

Special Features:  Deleted scenes, interview, “Soul Mates” film
short. 

 

 

 

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