Todd. Barry. Has. A. Very. Slow. Delivery. Style. With. Pauses. In. Between. Almost. Every. Word. This style is a stark contrast to the super animated comics that seem to be so prevalent today. Being super animated can have its advantages, and some comics use it to highlight and accentuate great material. Other comics, however, use it to hide weak material. With comics like Todd Barry, there is little to no animation. The almost monotone delivery forces you to focus only on the material. When you force this kind of attention on your material, you had better have quality. Fortunately for us, Barry has honed this style and is a master.
That having been said, Todd Barry has become markedly more animated (for him, at least) with each successive album. In fact, one of my biggest criticisms of this album is when Barry seemingly breaks character for a moment — or, more accurately, admits to the audience that it is a character. At one point during the show, Barry comments about the fact that he was smiling, but assures his fans that they should not worry, because that will be taken out in editing. While stand-up comedy fans know that many comics have “stage personas,” it is always a little startling when that persona is revealed during a show. At a minimum, it takes the listener out of the show a bit while they process this fact.
Aside from that criticism, Todd Barry delivers a solid hour of new material. One of my favorite bits involves a guy that walks up to Barry after a show and says, “I gotta ask you this question, can you become a millionaire doing comedy.” Barry ponders that this guy must be thinking “before I go writin’ a bunch of great jokes, and get a big Hollywood agent to book me on a world tour, I gotta know that the payoff is gonna be at least one million dollars.” Barry responds, “the first year in the business, maybe $700,000; but I can tell by the question that you’re in it for the right reasons.”
Stand-up comedy download
Comedy Central Records 2012
- 94Mild mannered comic with absurd look on life. Really different, good stuff.
- 93Very good comedy CD
- 89an easy listening stand-up comedy CD
- 78Solid but not groundbreaking and only available as comedy MP3
- 78A different comedy concept 2 CD set with Patton Oswalt, Maria Bamford, David Cross, and many others.