Picks and Pans Review: Comedy Is Not Pretty
While he's likable and often very funny, somehow Martin is to Robin Williams, Richard Pryor and George Carlin what George Gobel was to Jerry Lewis, Lenny Bruce and Sid Caesar. The closest Martin has come to taking a chance with his comedy was when he risked insulting Egyptologists with his King Tut send-up, and this album, recorded live over a four-year period at a San Francisco club, illustrates the point. Martin still relies excessively on parodying the stentorian tones of radio-TV announcers. (He's so good at it he can salvage a laugh on even the weakest of lines.) He also underestimates his audience and its attention span; the longest bit here is barely five minutes and the others are much shorter. Martin fritters away one particularly fertile idea—musing about wanting to meet Jackie Onassis. It's only half a joke to say that the best track on this LP is where Martin does some serious banjo playing.
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