Myq Kaplan is back with his third full-length stand-up comedy album (fourth if you count his collaborative effort with Micah Sherman called “Please Be Seated”).  His latest effort, called Small, Dork and Handsome, finds Kaplan on a new comedy label — New Wave Dynamics.

The album opens with “In conclusion, a joke about time travel. But first, everything else…” Those familiar with Kaplan will find immediate comfort in hearing that opening joke, realizing that what is in store for them is more of the same smart, witty, word-play style jokes that make up Kaplan’s prior albums.

One of the greatest things about stand-up comedy is when a comedian really challenges you on a specific topic and makes you think.  An “oh yeah” moment, coupled with intense laughter, is the best.  An even better experience is when the bit is so compelling that you actually spend the next few days talking about it with your friends.  Kaplan created one of those moments on this album.  He questions, “Does comedy have to be funny?” Although your immediate response might be “huh?,” he then clarifies, “Why is comedy the only art form, or form of entertainment, that must be good just to even be the thing that it is?”  Nobody would ever leave a movie theater after seeing a bad movie and ask “Was that even a movie?” On the flip side, I cannot tell you how many times I have heard someone say of a comic they didn’t like, “is this even comedy?”  Very thought provoking although, candidly, I still have no answer.

Myq Kaplan also has a great joke about being a vegan.  Paraphrased, he mentions that vegans are not invited anywhere fun or dangerous, so they just sit and home crying and drinking.  But, they need to make sure they don’t cry into the drink, because tears are a byproduct of human suffering.  In 2013, a butcher store located in West Vancouver, Canada stole that joke from Kaplan, and used it as a sign in the store window.  Of course, when Kaplan tells the joke, it’s a self-deprecating joke told by a vegan.  When a butcher store owner puts those same words on a sign in its window, it becomes mean-spirited attack on people who don’t eat meat — not to mention the fact that the joke was stolen.  Kaplan details this story and how he dealt with it in a bonus track on this new album.

Fans of smart, rapid-fire comedy will find a lot to enjoy in this album.

Small, Dork, and Handsome
Myq Kaplan
Comedy CD and MP3
New Wave Dynamics 2014

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