Anticipation is brilliant and on our top ten stand-up comedy CD list. This 2008 Comedy Central release is Lewis Black ‘s best stand-up comedy CD to date.

It is also the only fully achieved concept stand-up album I know of –the concept behind George Carlin’s FM / AM is limited to what material would be playable on each band. In Anticipation, Lewis Black ‘s opens with the topic, middles with a great diatribe on waiting for Christmas,  and closes with another aspect of the subject.

This CD features not a kinder and gentler Lewis Black, nobody wants that, but shows a less politically and socially enraged and more down to earth comic whose take on the little things in life creates a superb performance. The anger is still there but it is not as vitriolic; this makes for a more humane and funnier comic.

Lewis Black opens the show with a bit on how looking forward to the show will turn out to be better than the show itself. It is an interesting but false premise. Black then moves on to anticipating the loss of your virginity. This is a great piece that includes sex ed, a salute to people who were able to wait until marriage, and Black’s first experience which, like everything else it seems, was disappointing.

Anticipation also includes a great bit on golfers who never achieve the game they spend their life and money looking forward to, and a solid bit on gamblers. The latter is, comparatively speaking, the low point but this is a great stand-up comedy CD so the bit is solid anyway.

The heart of this Lewis Black CD is the long bit on Xmas, Santa, and Chanukah. This 20 minute routine is painfully funny. Black again skewers society but here he does it with such good humor he almost sounds happy. The part about electing the Fat Man for President is deadly hilarious.

Closing Anticipation are two routines that are not quite standard Lewis Black material. The first, A Great Headline, is about glancing at a newspaper article in the morning and looking forward to reading it when you get back home from work. Blueberry Pancakes is another newspaper article based bit where, again, anticipation is part and parcel of the joke.

After listening to Lewis Black Anticipation a few dozen times, you cannot but look forward to what Lewis Black will come up with next. This, as Black himself would point out, can only lead to a letdown. This comedy CD is going to be hard to top.

Lewis Black
Stand-up Comedy CD
Produced by Jack Vaughn
Comedy Central Records 2008
52 minutes

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