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Comedy Reviews - CD - Sheng Wang - Cornucopias Are Actually Horrible Containers

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Cornucopias Are Actually Horrible Containers
Sheng Wang
Comedy MP3 Album
All Things Records 2015

The debut album from comic Sheng Wang interestingly titled "Cornucopias Are Actually Horrible Containers" has been released from All Things Records.  All Things Records is the recording branch of All Things Comedy, which is a unique company in that it is owned and operated by the comics themselves.  Much like Louis CK's approach to distribution, the All Things Comedy website highlights that this business model "gives comics not only the opportunity to create the content they think is funny but to take ownership in the company that distributes it."  Perfect!

Wang was previously featured on his own episode of "Comedy Central Presents" and was a contestant on the 2015 season of NBC's "Last Comic Standing."

Recorded at the Punch Line Comedy Club in San Francisco, Wang's comedy style can be described as observational, with a focus on pointing out the absurdities of life.  During Last Comic Standing, judge and long-time stand-up comic Norm MacDonald stated that Wang was "a great writer."  While that is absolutely true, implicit in that criticism is that Wang lacks a strong stage presence.  I completely disagree.  Wang has a very approachable stage presence, and delivers his material in a somewhat slow, deliberate manner, rarely laughing at his own material, which demonstrates a quiet confidence in his material.  

Topics include relationships, health, drinking, and race – all common comedy fare, for sure.  But, Wang's approach to the topics is original and refreshing.  For example, Wang mentions an experience buying a salad in an airport, and adding a can of tuna from his backpack into the salad to make the salad more filling.  While such a move might just be "weird" if you're white, if you're Asian it presents a risk of creating a whole new stereotype, with others wondering whether he just added a can of cat food to his salad.  One of my favorite bits (which he also did on Last Comic Standing, so I am not spoiling it for you) is bringing a woman to his apartment, and his roommate tells Wang that she is alright, but he "could do better."  Wang responds, "Yeah, I could do better, but better doesn't want to do me."  "Better is out looking for best."  "But don't you worry about me, I'm going to do OK."  His timing on that joke is perfect.

The album clocks in at a little under an hour, and feels very cohesive as a set.  

The audio quality is also excellent.  While that may seem like an odd statement to make in a review, as any fan of stand-up comedy knows, stand-up albums range from barely audible, where clinks and clangs from the kitchen staff are louder than the comic's voice, on one end of the spectrum, all the way to pristine, on the other.  All Things Records has done a great job mastering this album, and I definitely look forward to more releases from this company

Brett Watson

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