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Comedy Reviews - CD - Various Stand-Up Comics - Play The Word - Volume 2

Play the Word is a very good concept that could have used a little more care. The basic idea is to get comedy writers such as Jay Kogen, Cindy Chupack, Eric Gilliland, Beth Lapides, Julia Sweeny, Cindy Caponera, and Rob Cohen perform some of their funny material, in this case humorous stories or essays they have written. It works, to a point.

Granted, aside from Julia Sweeny (God Said Ha! and Saturday Night Live), none of these people are professional comedians, comics, or performers, and you do have to give them a little leeway. The problem is how much leeway, how forgiving an audience are you before you just sort of feel your generosity is being abused?

The Harvest, by Jay Kogen (writer for The Simpsons and The Ben Stiller Show) is a very interesting story about going through artificial insemination that could have been a lot funnier and more touching if the writing, yes, the writing, had been a little tighter. You should not expect Kogen to deliver his material like a professional comic and he does a decent job of it at that. The problem is the story feels like it is still an early draft and the author / reader seems to get lost in his own tale somewhere near the very end.

"Hey Baby" Weight by Cindy Chupack (Sex & The City) is a fun story about going on one of those weird 10-day diets. The story works, the humor works, the observations work, and even the telling works. You do get the feeling the story could somehow have been better but since it is hard to nail down how, it is a satisfying experience nonetheless.

Eric Gilliland (who worked on Roseanne for a fairly long while) has a fishing story. It has an interesting premise and the promise about some revelation about male bonding and things like that but in the end is just a red herring.

One of the strongest comic stories on this CD is Mickey's Shadow by Beth Lapides, who runs this event. This is probably where some of the dissatisfaction with the other readers comes from. It is obvious Lapides polished her story and has practiced its reading so everything flows smoothly both story wise and delivery wise. It is a story about, of all things sample paint chips and what you can tell about people and the universe from them. It is highly entertaining, tight, not bust a gut funny but very humorous nonetheless.

At Any Minute is Julia Sweeny's contribution to this independent release CD of funny tales. It is basically about your usual Jewish mother and her ability to control her kids through guilt. The premise is the father is very sick and dying and this could be the last party or whatever other moment together and that this has been going on for some twenty years. Sweeny does well in the reading and the material works but you definitely get the impression this is stuff being tried out on an audience and that's fair enough.

Cindy Caponera has the penultimate spot on this comic story CD with When I Was a Hottie. It is definitely a chick story that belongs as a monologue or short moment in a chick flick. It works. It is not an earth shattering, life-changing story but, hey, not everything is meant to be like that and if you are entertained, and I was, that's all you really expect sometimes.

This independent CD closes with a story or essay by Rob Cohen (The Simpsons and The Ben Stiller Show) titled Jerry Lewis Called Me A Faggot. The delivery is a bit monotone and although it is an original story, its premise of Jerry Lewis being a giant prick is nothing quite new so the material doesn't really rise above that premise.

The main problem with Play The Word, Volume 2 by Un-Cabaret is the production values. The liner has an interesting illustration but is marred by a bad Polaroid picture on the back. The CD itself looks homemade to the point its only distinguishing feature is a black 2 on a mirror CD. The sound from track to track hits peaks and lows so a listener constantly has to adjust the volume from story to story; never a relaxing and listening enducing task.

Other Various Stand-Up Comics Reviews

Play The Word - Volume 1: Merril Markoe, Rob Cohen, Julie Rottenberg, Adam Zweibel, Beth Lapides, Winnie Holzman, George Meyer

Before They Were Kings Volume 1: a comedy Dvd featuring some old sets has not aged a bit.

Before They Were Kings Volume 2: an interesting though not a must have stand-up comedy DVD.

The Big Black Comedy Show Volume 1: The Big Black Comedy Show Volume 1 is a very solid comedy DVD

The Big Black Comedy Show Volume 2: Big Black Comedy Volume 1 is far superior to this comedy DVD

Laffapalooza 5: not the best of the bunch but quite decent nonetheless

Laughing Matters: Bad director! Bad director!! Someone take her splicing kit away, now!

Drive By Comedy: a pretty good sample style audio book comedy CD

The Naughty Show Bad Girls Of Comedy: Kim Cea, Stella Stolper, Lisa Ann Walter, Kate Rigg, Shayma Tash, Robin Montague. Ex adult film star director, limp product, no money shot.

World's Greatest Stand-Up Comedy Collection: World's greatest stand-up comedy DVD collection. They are all there.

Redneck Comedy Roundup: skip over the many Engvall tracks and enjoy the other stand-up comics

Invite Them Up: 4 hours on 3 comedy CDs and 1 DVD, hard to beat

Open Mic: behind-the-scenes documentary about the stand-up comedy biz

Man Alive - CBC Winnipeg Comedy Festival: CBC Winnipeg Comedy Festival show John Wing Jr, Glen Foster, others

Just For Laughs Vol 1 Best of The Uptown Comics: Uptown Comics Volume 1 is an excellent stand-up comedy DVD.

Just For Laughs Stand-Up Vol 2 On The Edge: Comedy Festival gala performances by comedy's edgiest,funniest

The Good,The Bad, And The Drugly: Major stand-up comedy artists do very different stuff.

Un-Cabaret - The Un & Only: Decent not quite comedy CD

10,000 Laughs : Best of the Boston Comedy Festival: Very good stand-up comedy CD features 16 stand-up comics and not a bad set in the bunch.

Comedy Death-Ray: A different comedy concept 2 CD set with Patton Oswalt, Maria Bamford, David Cross, and many others.

Cutting Edge Comedians of the 60s and 70s DVD - Capsule Review: Great Stand-up comedy TV clip collection.

Cutting Edge Comedians of the 60s and 70s - Full Review: DVD with rare TV clips of comedy greats like Cosby, Newhart, Carlin, etc

Indian Invasion Comedy: Buffet style DVD featuring Mark Saldana, Bijai Nathan, Rajiv Satyal, Dalia, and Vidur Kapur.

Katt Williams presents Katthouse Comedy: Ordinary stand-up comedy DVD with Red Grant, Luenell, and Melanie Comarcho

National Lampoon Live Un-Scripted with Frank Caliendo: Buffet style stand-up comedy CD with Frank Caliendo, John DiResta, Bert Kreischer, Tess, and Steve Byrne

Comics Without Borders - Season One: Russell Peters hosts 18 comics in stand-up comedy variety pack

Best of Montreal Comedy: Good variety pack of up-and-coming Montreal comics

Yuk Yuk's Guide To Canadian Stand-up: Yuk Yuk's owner presents the history of Canadian stand-up comedy in must have 5 CD audio book set featuring more than 50 stand-up comics.

The Awkward Comedy Show: Buffet style stand-up comedy DVD featuring 5 nerdy Black comics

A 420 Friendly Comedy Special: Very good comedy but not as much pot as you'd expect.

Comedy Juice All-Stars: Very good compilation from Stand Up! Records aside from Eddie Pepitone

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