Ron Shock is my all-time favorite stand-up comic. I even planned a trip to Las Vegas for when this comedian would make one of his regular appearances at The Comedy Stop at the Tropicana. I have always favored story-telling comedy; the ten or twenty minute fleshed-out routine with characters you can follow on their comedy adventures. Shock is a master at it. Whether he bases his stories on newspaper stories or his own very colorful and perhaps spotty past, he is always original and funny.
Few stand-up comics try to do long material. This is either because they cannot or do not want to face the challenge of keeping an audience interested in the same routine for ten or so minutes. Quick two or three-minute bits allow a comedian to recover if something is not working. There is also the fact writing a solid five minutes is hard and with the story form you have to do it twice and more than twice as good. The most famous practitioner of the genre is certainly Bill Cosby. Ron Shock is a more adult oriented, more realistic, and more complex such practitioner.
There are to date five Ron Shock CDs available and not a bad one in the bunch. The earliest two are Oral Roberts, 900' Jesus, and Other Stories and You're Gonna Die Anyway. Oral Roberts features this comic's staple newspaper stories bit but the title track is the killer and gem. You have to hear the story of the preacher claiming he has spoken to a 900' Jesus to believe it. You're Gonna Die features personal fave Van Seats and the long bit titled Car Chase. Car Chase is this comic at his most cinematic; he actually puts you in the passenger seat in this one.
Dog Stories, released a couple of years ago is a great gift for any dog lover who enjoys adult comedy. American Storyteller is certainly eponymous. The track The Pursuit of Happiness is about how everything good for you is also bad for you so you should enjoy life while you are at it. The best bit (from best bits in the first place) is Sex Is Good, a brilliant riff on humans voicing Oh! God at climax.
The latest -to date, I am always looking forward to the next CD-is Deep In The Heart Of Texas. Here, the comic reprises and revises a couple of standards and tells the story of having a heart attack This is again, good stuff though I sometimes think that track ends a bit too quickly.
If you want to see Ron Shock and can't afford a trip to Vegas to do it, his two DVDs, Bootleg 1 and Bootleg 2 are good fun. Granted these are small budget videos giving these a VCD quality but seeing Shock perform, especially the great Dope Story on Bootleg 1 is great fun.
If you enjoy really good, well-written, intelligent adult comedy in the long form of the story, Ron Shock is your man.
Other Ron Shock Reviews
American Storyteller: American Storyteller is Ron Shock at his best, again
Oral Roberts, 900 ft Jesus & Other Tall Tales: This is one hell of a very funny comedy CD
You're Gonna Die Anyway: Great comedy CD by a very funny stand-up comic.
Dog Stories: a definite must for any fan of funny stories and stand-up comedy
Bootleg 1: If you are willing to overlook the production values, although the sound quality is just fine, Bootleg l by Ron Shock is a solid comedy DVD.
Bootleg II: adds to the pleasure of those already familiar with his comedy CDs
Deep In The Heart Of Texas: Another great comedy CD by a master.
Live at 65: Includes some classics and two new bits. One about safecracking, another about escaping jail.
Ron Shock Audio Reviews