Christian Finnegan is a better stand-up comic than his first Comedy Central stand-up comedy CD might suggest.

Two For Flinching is a pretty good release but I kept getting the impression that Finnegan could do more, that he had the ability to go a little further with his material than he does here. I think Finnegan flinched.

This is probably my fault as I caught Christian Finnegan a couple of times at the 2006 Just For Laughs Montreal International Comedy Festival and remember those sets as hotter and perhaps edgier than the material on this Comedy Central stand-up comedy CD.

Finnegan opens by calling the audience on going whoooo when a comic asks them a yes or no question and takes this bit to its logical conclusion.

His bit on fireworks and how we always remember them as better than they are is very good but, as an example of what I mean by flinching, he intros this with a comment on how hot it is and so on. The bit on the Washington subway system is banal and he goes blue for no reason to punch up this bit.

Things get much better on Two For Flinching with How Is This My Fault and I Hate the Red Sox -this from a guy from Beantown. I wish he had gone further with the line of thought that relationships are like yard sales. It is an original and funny simile that has a lot of promise. Perhaps Finnegan backed out of it when the audience went ooo at one of the lines. How Is This My Fault also has a really good bit on why you should never bring a digital camera to the beach.

From the unwanted advice section: Christian Finnegan could definitely do more political comedy. Alaska Is Not An Island (which seems to feature some material on Canada he was planning to do at Just For Laughs a week or so later as he addresses his Washington audience as if they were Canadians on this one) features some original observations and his bit on Dick Cheney as the Penguin are really good.

This is a versatile stand-up comic. High Dance Threshold and Song Terrorism are probably staples of his set when he plays a college audience and the material travels well to a more mature crowd.

The relationship stuff in Bed Skirts does have a couple of easy punchlines and relationship comedy is generally hard to keep fresh but Christian Finnegan can do this kind of material without either partner being the butt of the jokes.

The last track on Two For Flinching by Christian Finnegan is extremely atypical from the rest of this stand-up comedy CD and definitely jarring. Happy Birthday is much raunchier than the rest of the material here and seems to be some old school tried and true college humor level material this comic used as a safety blanket to close his set even if he has already moved way beyond this kind of humor.

Two For Flinching is the usual well-produced Comedy Central Records release with perfect sound and very good packaging. Since this label has often included a DVD with the CD, I kind of expected one but that’s what happens when you spoil the audience.

Two For Flinching
Christian Finnegan
Stand-up comedy CD
Produced by Jack Vaughn
Comedy Central Records 2006
52 minutes

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