The Master Plan is the second stand-up comedy CD by comic James P. Connolly and his first on personal favorite Uproar label.

I really liked Connolly’s first, independent release comedy CD, Pure Polyester, and expected the same high quality, original stand-up comedy the second time around. I was a bit wrong: The Master Plan is high quality, original comedy but not at all the same kind of material.

If James P. Connolly sounded like Elvis on his first stand-up comedy CD he sounds like a smarmy used car salesman on The Master Plan.

I really like this new self-loving bombastic persona who spins everything in his favor and whose take on topics like gay marriage (he sees nothing wrong in a gay man marrying a gay woman) is funny and original. Connolly has also found a very original if very dangerous answer to the age old question, “Do I look fat in this dress?” that you’ll just have to hear for yourself.

Some of the early tracks on this comedy CD may remind some of Craig Shoemaker and his Love Master style of comedy but this comic has his own spin on things through his own character. A quibble I had with Pure Polyester was you could not hear the audience’s responses to Connolly’s talented tendency to interact with it.

This time around you get to hear the response and Connolly is blessed with a couple of very witty audience members whose answers really work with his material (unfortunately, there is also an audience member on this recording whose laugh will simply send shivers down your spine it is so annoying).

Another strong point in James P. Connolly’s favor on The Master Plan is that he does not stick too long with any topic but elegantly segues into a slightly different character before going back to the previous one. I particularly enjoyed Humble Origins with this stand-up comic’s versions of old saws.

He is also very able to take familiar comedy material, like a very old grandmother, places you do not expect it to go. Granted, a couple of the routines, like American Dream do not really go anywhere, perhaps because Connolly depends on the audience’s answer to work it, but the journey is still fun and he manages to pull it back on track with a few really good short jokes.

In many ways, short jokes are James P. Connolly’s forte on this comedy CD. There are quite a few here, such as the one about puppy love, that you will definitely want to repeat to friends and coworkers.

Not that this stand-up comic cannot do some longer material. In many ways, The Master Plan is a whole centered on the character of the bombastic self-styled lover of women with a few variations on that theme.

Connolly pulls a couple of very funny groaners near the end of The Master Plan while he also pokes a bit of fun at comics who sell stuff after their shows and artists with charities. These are simply worth hearing.

The Master Plan by James P. Connolly on the Uproar label is a very original and very funny stand-up comedy CD.

The Master Plan
James P. Connolly
stand-up Comedy CD
Uproar 2006
46 minutes

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