Laughing For Cancer is a compilation comedy cd. It costs $20.00 and the benefits go towards cancer which is fine: You do not often get the chance to give to a very worthy cause, get that warm fuzzy feeling, and get a laugh out of it. Even Jerry Lewis can't do that. In one word, Laughing For Cancer is decent. You do get a decent bang for your buck with 15 tracks of funny jokes and funny stories and 1 very bad song at the end.
This being a compilation comedy cd, some tracks are better than others both in terms of material, comic, and, something I think is important in a comedy cd, sound quality.
The people at Laughing for Cancer are no fools and they open the cd with a great set by Andrew Grose titled Bed in a Bag. Women know what that is, guys just could not care less. Grose is a professional and this track proves it. This is a very funny story about some poor guy going shopping with his wife.
Track 2, On Pornography, track 9, On Parents, and track 15, On Women's Products are by Howie Miller. The best of the three Miller tracks are On Women's Products. Not many comics can segue from hockey to feminine hygiene products. The hockey part is good and has a very funny joke about the Canada Cup (which I won't repeat here, don't want to burn a good joke like that) and the feminine hygiene product jokes are okay. On Parents is okay but the room sound a little quiet during that set. On Pornography is not particularly original but goes over fairly well. The sound quality on these three tracks is good. Not great, but good.
Toby Hargrave has two tracks on this comedy cd. Track three is On Gay Bars. It would be nice to give a fair review of this track but the sound is not good at all, sort of like listening to a bad bootleg taped with a portable cassette player. Track 10, On Saskatchewan is relatively better both in terms of sound and set quality but not great either. If Toby Hargrave were part of the line-up at a comedy club, your impression would be he's okay.
Tyler Hawkins, track 4 On Marriage and track 11 On Girlfriends, is okay too, if a bit juvenile. He does have a knack for interacting with the audience, always a plus in my book. Again, the sound is not studio quality but quite decent on these two tracks, like you would get on a good bootleg record. Tyler Hawkins does tell funny jokes but needs some maturing.
On Drugs & West Jet, track 5, is the only Paul Myrehaug contribution. This is good stuff. A better than average set.
Aside from Andrew Grose, who is just great (check out his own cd), the strongest stand-up comic on this cd is Kevin Stobo. Both On the Olympics and the very funny On Love and Marriage are solid material. On Love and Marriage is on how after 4 years a marriage can be less than romantic. Both of these tracks are very funny stories and funny jokes and the sound quality is very good.
Andrew Grose, who, if this were a club show would be the MC, includes two other of his best skits: On Lingerie and Lamaze Classes. Listening to Grose sandwiched between other comics shows you the difference between a seasoned professional and a less experienced comic. Although Kevin Stobo does not suffer in comparison.
Track 6 is a funny song about Cowboys by Winston Herbert. It's hard to tell how good it is because the sound quality is not that great (bootleg at best) and I am not sure the lyrics work that well rhythmically. Then again, it's not bad. A matter of taste perhaps.
Winston Herbert fares better in my book with his set On Nudity. It's a bit short but decent
Should standards be different for what is a funny joke or a funny story if the money is going to charity? I do not think an independent comedy cd should be approached any differently than a major label release. I expect very good sound quality and do not always get it either from a major label or an independent. I expect to laugh and I do not care if you are on Warner Brothers or Mike's House Brand. Funny is funny.
Laughing For Cancer by Comics Against Cancer ain't bad. It ain't brilliant but, hey, what the hell.