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Comedy Reviews - CD - Paul Virzi - Night at the Stand

Night at the Stand
Click pic for Amazon page
Night at the Stand
Paul Virzi
Comedy MP3 album
All Things Records 2015

A few months back I reviewed the debut album from comic Sheng Wang on the All Things Records label. As I mentioned at the time, 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. I really have a lot of respect for this company and its approach to distribution, and have been looking forward to more releases from them.

Now I have the privilege of reviewing All Things Records' latest comedy mp3 album, Night At The Stand, by comic Paul Virzi.  Admittedly, I was not familiar with Virzi's work prior to this release.  However, I heard Virzi routinely opens for Bill Burr, and if Burr likes him, he must be great, and I'm always thrilled to hear a new comic (well, new to me, at least).

Virzi's style is long form stories, mostly observational and largely centered around his family. Virzi opens with a bit about his love for New York, including a funny bit about how he misses the "bad neighborhoods" that existed when he grew up. He doesn't want to get mugged, but it was nice to know it was a possibility. This sets the tone for the rest of the set.

His bit about pitbulls is spot on, and something that has puzzled me for a while. He points out that while most pitbulls are probably loving, gentle dogs, it is bizarre that people get offended when you're cautious being around their pitbulls.  

For me, my favorite material on this album is Virzi's bits about his kids. He talks about how tiring it is to be a parent, and has a line about not knowing what tired really is until you've thought about divorce and suicide on the same walk to your child's room. Being a parent to a toddler myself, and as someone who has barely slept in six months, I can relate.

Clocking in at just under an hour, this is a solid debut album by Virzi.  I'm going to keep an eye out for when he performs locally, and will be sure to check him out live.

Brett Watson

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