Harland Williams is always good live. He has a great talent for sound effects and his forte is spritzing with the audience and coming up with some improvised comedy out of it. This is what you get on Harland Williams’ stand-up comedy CD Har-larious. Unfortunately, the comedy CD is fairly ordinary. Good stuff but not great.

Harland Williams opens with a fairly dark and surreal bit about a fly in his house (a joke he will recall some 30 minutes later when talking to an audience member). The Restaurants bit that opens Har-larious unfortunately depends on Williams swearing to make the jokes funny and he does not do anything with the material that any other stand-up comic would have done. This is a very generic bit. The second track on this stand-up comedy CD is also a bit surreal and involves mistreating animals, scatological humor, and a bunch of people from Arby’s. He also tries to get a bit political with Al Quedas but it quickly goes back to safer material about being pulled over by the cops, jokes about airplanes and airport security, and some audience interaction.

Body Enhancement opens with some self-deprecating humor and then goes scatological and dirty to get a few laughs at the expense of shaving, Botox, and various forms of body decoration and enhancement. This track segues into Tattoos and more audience interaction that, again, is ordinary. Track 6 of Har-larious, the 2005 stand-up comedy CD by Harland Williams, is basically a long joke about an airbag. Animals and Corn features Harland Williams’ forte, sound effects, an older routine about a kid at Starbucks, and a bit more slightly surrealistic setups.

The rest of the tracks on Har-larious basically follow the same pattern, some funny bits, some swearing and blue comedy to punch up the material, and nothing particularly original. This is the big problem with Harland Williams’ stand-up comedy CD: aside from a couple of personal fortes (sound effects and interacting with the audience) there is nothing here any other decent stand-up comic has not covered. Har-larious basically lacks personality, a weird thing to say about a comedy CD but there you go.

Harland Williams’ many fans will not be disappointed by Har-larious but they will probably feel the show was better.

Harland Williams
Stand-up comedy CD
Comedy Central Records 2005
45 minutes

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