A new Don Tjernagel stand-up comedy CD is something I always welcome though I am constantly surprised it made it past customs.

Tjernagel is a comic Lenny Bruce would find offensive. If you think you have heard it all stand-up comedy wise, it is only because you have not heard Prick Volume 3 or any other independent release stand-up comedy CD from prince of darkness Don Tjernagel.

I really like Tjernagel and have all his comedy CDs but Prick 3 is not going to be my favorite. The Prick CD recordings are released pretty much as is and this usually works. This time around I found the material not as tight as usual and it really bugs me. Don Tjernagel is a very smart nasty comic and his routines are usually complex with various references to history and modern trivia. Here, aside from the opening track, Magic Johnson, where the stand-up comedian wonders why it is that Johnson has not died from AIDS yet (and he avoids the joke “it’s because he has a magic Johnson” I can come up with), the bits are somewhat disorganized and less replete with references than usual.

A case in point is the track Porn vs. Religion where the comparison basically skims the surface instead of going to the dark depths Tjernagel has made me used to. I also expected a lot more from Good Lutherans, especially since I am also a fan of Garrison Keillor and was really looking forward to a tear on the topic. Here, Tjernagel talks about his days in high school basketball and, again, it doesn’t get as smartly offensive as usual.

There is of course comedy about topics most comics would not even dare go for, such as the Stoke Method track about period sex, but although it is nasty, there is something that did not quite engage me.

If Prick 3 is not my favorite, it could be my own damn fault. I really like Tjenagel’s very different brand of stand-up and have learned to set extremely high standards for this Las Vegas comic.

Don Tjernagel
Prick Volume 3
Stand-up Comedy CD
Independent Release 2007
46 minutes

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