Au Contraire, the second Christian Finnegan stand-up comedy CD is better than his first, Two For Flinching.

The material here, from his first Comedy Central Special, is tighter and funnier, making Finnegan a more interesting comedian. This comedy CD is also a frustrating as I often feel Finnegan is not pushing himself enough. Au Contraire is your basic good CD but it could so easily have been excellent.

Finnegan opens with some biographical material including a bit on his Chihuahua. The third track, France v. Ireland is a good example of a good, original routine I felt could have been so much better. The elements are there but Christian Finnegan seems to have chosen not to push his exploration beyond the first level.

Also very good is Rigorous Certification Process. This is a very promising bit but the stand-up not only wimps out for the easy joke, he even calls himself and his audience on it.

Also fun on this Christian Finnegan stand-up comedy CD are Purple Shorts and Why Not a Shark Tank, a longer partly autobiographical piece that segues elegantly into the Olympics. His take on the art of the correct high five is fun.

Part of the comedy on Au Contraire is the comic realizing he is aging. This is rather standard fare but Finnegan manages to make it fresh and interesting. In Excelsis Deo is such a bit with excellent references to various gaming consoles and generational appropriate references. This and The Murder Tree are a great examples of Finnegan rising to the level he is capable of.

Au Contraire is adult language and adult oriented comedy but not overly or aggressively so. The most adult routine on this comedy CD is Dishwasher Safe which reveals marital aids are.

The stand-up comedy CD closes with a solid bit on having a decent death. It ends with the kind of facile joke that bugs me about this comic.

This is a solid release. It is probably my fault if I feel this comic can do much more.

Au Contraire
Christian Fiinnegan
Stand-up Comedy CD
Warner Brother Records 2009
64 minutes

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