Following in Comedy Central Record’s footsteps, New Wave Dynamics has released a 2-disc CD and DVD set of Greg Fitzsimmons’ latest special, Life on Stage. These sets are an amazing value, providing both the audio and video version of the performances for a roughly $10-12 price tag. MP3 at Amazon
Fitzsimmons is a roughly 20-year veteran in the stand-up comedy game, yet this album marks his first since his 2002 debut album called Fitz of Laughter. As such a long time veteran, it comes as no surprise that Fitzsimmons is remarkably comfortable on stage, calmly walking the floor and confidently delivering his material.
I believe you will enjoy this special, and I absolutely believe you will laugh, but I just cannot help but think that Fitzsimmons could have dug a little deeper or perhaps selected at least a few different topics to discuss. Topics such as getting married or being a husband and a father are common fare for comics. Everyone from the guy in your office who thinks he’s funny, to a routine open-mic performer and up to seasoned performers have tackled these topics ad nauseum. Typically when I hear a comic launch into how married life is rough, I tune out a little bit assuming I’ve heard it all before.
Fitzsimmons does find a way to breathe new life into these stale topics, and his insight is sharp and funny. For example, on the topic of being a father, Fitzsimmons wonders if his son questions why he is always on the road and is rarely home. He imagines his wife having to caution his son not to be a dreamer, telling their son “he’s at the Green Bay Chuckle Hut … don’t dream … we have enough dreamers in this family.”
Fitzsimmons has a unique ability to take something very mundane, flip it, and then use humor as social commentary. For example, Fitzsimmons questions why rescuing a dog is considered such a noble thing to do. Before PETA and all the pet lovers had time to get upset at this seemingly insensitive statement, Fitzsimmons states that he believes it would be more humane to rescue a human from a homeless shelter.
An example of where I wish Fitzsimmons would have dug a little deeper is in his discussion about race and language. Fitzsimmons remarks that he can cut a check to the “United Negro College Fund” or the “National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,” he just can’t say those words when he hands over the check. It just seemed like he barely brushed the surface of this material before moving on to something else.
At the end of the day, this is a solid album, even if not a groundbreaking one.