Comedy Central released Al Madrigal’s first one-hour special, Why is the Rabbit Crying? as a combo stand-up comedy CD/DVD on April 30th, 2013.
I like Al Madrigal. Always have. I was a fan of his 2005 episode of Comedy Central Presents, his 2009 audio special Half-Breed, and I am a fan of his work as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. As such, I was excited to hear his new material.
I am going to approach this review in reverse, by first talking about one of the special features on the DVD — specifically, audio commentary by Al Madrigal and fellow comic Louis Katz as they watch Madrigal’s 2005 episode of Comedy Central Presents. In short, Madrigal is not a fan of that piece of work. While the commentary was funny, I personally would have preferred to have had this bonus feature left out. Why? Because I did like the Comedy Central Presents episode, and it was a little unsettling to hear the comic himself talk about how much he dislikes it. I found myself constantly challenging him, insisting that his material was funny.
Now, that having been said, I am going to be a bit hypocritical and admit that the inclusion of that commentary did actually make me enjoy Why is the Rabbit Crying? a bit more. It really showed how much Madrigal has improved as a comic since 2005. Whereas the 2005 Madrigal appears to be a bit uncomfortable and uses unnecessary filler to link his bits together, the 2013 Madrigal is as polished and confident as they come.
Why is the Rabbit Crying? is mostly observational and personal anecdotes from Madrigal’s life. My favorite bits are the first three tracks, which include a story about taking his family to a waterfall frequented by Cholos, his kid’s football coach who also happens to be a Cholo, and getting a neck massage in a strip mall. The special concludes with a seven minute bit about picking up a day laborer at Home Depot and then bonding with that person over Mitch Fatel’s favorite topic … breasts. While the special does contain some adult bits and occasional adult language, I would certainly not categorize this as a “blue” album as it is largely family friendly.
After listening to this special, it is rather obvious why HBO and the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen named Al Madrigal the “Best Stand-Up Comedian.” This is a quality, polished special and, within a single package, you’re able to get both the DVD and the CD versions of the special.
Why Is the Rabbit Crying?
Stand-up Comedy CD and DVD set
Comedy Central Records 2013
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