Sometimes, when dealing with expectations, you can be your own worst enemy. How many times have you gone to see a movie that you felt had the potential to be phenomenal and, even though the movie was good, you still felt let down? Because of that reality, I was a little concerned about listening to Nate Bargatze’s first stand-up comedy album, Yelled at by a Clown, released by Aspecialthing Records.

In early 2011, Comedy Central aired an episode of Comedy Central Presents featuring Nate Bargatze, and it was fantastic. I have watched that episode more than a dozen times, and it is solid from start to finish. Since then, I eagerly awaited a full length album from Bargatze. When I heard that Yelled at by a Clown was getting released, my first thought was “instant classic.” My second thought was “wow, I hope he can live up to that.” My third thought was “I think I may have just ruined this album for myself.”

Fortunately, I did not ruin the album. This album, much like his episode of Comedy Central Presents, is a solid set from start to finish. The set clocks in at approximately 52 minutes. Much of the roughly 22 minutes of material from the Comedy Central Presents episode is repeated here, but fans are also treated to approximately 30+ minutes of new material.

Although he has a great bit about having to take remedial classes at a Community College, his material is very smart. He delivers his material straight-faced, rarely laughing at his own jokes. The album’s title is based upon Bargatze’s father having a job as a clown (and then a magician) when Nate Bargatze was a child. Bargatze questions how many people have ever been yelled at by a clown, highlighting how odd it is to be yelled at by a guy with a big smile painted on his face.

One of my favorite bits on the album is a bit about working out. This is a very relatable bit in which Nate Bargatze wonders why he never picks a workout he can actually do, instead thinking he will just do with the Navy Seals do to workout. He then mentions the P90x workout, stating that he knew the workout was not for him when the informercial showed a “before” shot of someone who had done the workout and he thought to himself that he would kill to look like the “before” guy — “does the before guy have a DVD?”

I guess it is time to start building my expectations for his second album.

Yelled At By A Clown
Nate Bargatze
Stand-up Comedy MP3 Album
Aspecialthing Records 2012

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