David Heti’s second album dives right into the heart of being a stand up comedian. He is brutally honest and shockingly self-aware, which can lead to amazing punch lines. While most of his jokes land, he often rambles for long periods of time without getting to a punch line. Still, I found his album very easy to listen to, and I enjoyed it.
One of the highlights was Heti’s self-awareness. He has a bit about how culture and political correctness has taken away so much from comedy, and he ends it with “when they came for me, there was no one left to tell the really didactic jokes about jokes.” The phrase “jokes about jokes” summarized the first half of the album so succinctly, and I appreciated the honesty.
Some of his bits do tend to drag on without punch lines for longer than many comics would find desirable. Again, he’s aware when this happens, and he openly acknowledges that there are no “jokey jokes” in his set. Even still, his pauses can work well for him, and often the biggest laughs come after he takes a long pause.
Heti moves fearlessly into subjects the PC police wouldn’t like. I enjoyed most of it, particularly his bit about the word “cunt” and his joke about the difference between fucking and making love. He sometimes went a little far — I felt the parts about having sex with children were unnecessary — but when he goes too far, he’s well aware of it. Like Anthony Jeselnik, he seems to enjoy wading into these non-PC waters.
He spends much of the album discussing his time as a stand up comedian, and he really paints a picture of the lonely traveling comic. In the end, he brings it back and discusses how happy he is to be finally home. He ends on a small but funny self-reflective note. Overall, I enjoyed his album.