Independent Release

Live! McCurdy’s Comedy Theater is the third independent comedy CD by stand-up comic Tom Simmons, my favorite of the three, and a very good comedy CD. Having listened to One, released in 2001, and Next (One), released in 2002, it has been a very interesting experience to hear a new young comic evolve over a very short time span into a solid, mature, and very funny stand-up comedian. This might be something any serious comedy fan might want to do for himself or herself as you rarely really get such an opportunity but for the casual fan of comedy looking for a new stand-up comic, something different, and a solid and very funny set, Live! McCurdy’s Comedy Theater by Tom Simmons is you best bet.

Tom Simmons follows a newer trend in stand-up comedy, not boxing yourself into one genre of comedy, so he manages to cover all genres and styles of comedy in one evening. On Live! McCurdy’s Comedy Theater is, on the index, separated into 6 acts. Act 1 set slowly grows from funny jokes about sports and how video games would be better with a reality spin on them (as in can you get Kobe Bryant off the hook at the trial too?) into funny and intelligent commentary on the current political situation and religious beliefs in act 2. You know there is real comic and writing talent here when you see that the commentary on the “we” in sports on the act 1 tracks is used to set up the more serious commentary on the “we” in “We are at war” in act 2. It is in act 2 that Tom Simmons tells a funny joke or two about the Amish and makes it different and interesting.

Act 3, tracks 8 and 9 of Live! McCurdy’s Comedy Theater, continues Tom Simmons slowly setting up his audience for more serious topical stand-up comedy later on with jokes based on biographical material. After discussing the “we” in sports and politics, he subtly gets his audience to make him one of them, something he will need later on in the closing jokes of his set.

My personal favorite on this independent release comedy CD by Tom Simmons is track 10 (act 4) titled Relationship / Motor Home. This is very original material. Relationship material is never really new but this stand-up comedian manages to make it new by telling you about the funny side effects of being in a new relationship when you are a comic and always on the road. Tom Simmons managed to solve that problem by marrying the girl and traveling with her in a motor home. The many a funny joke about having a motor home and its many advantages are something new, different, and very funny. If you know anyone who owns a motor home, you have to get them Live! McCurdy’s Comedy Theater just so they can listen to this track. If there is a series of funny jokes on this CD that people will steal for themselves, this track definitely contains them.

Act 5 is a track about Tom Simmons’ nephew and a track about animals and the pet psychologist trend. This is, again, very funny stuff.

Act 6 is where on Live! McCurdy’s Comedy Theater Tom Simmons, after carefully setting up his audience all evening, goes into his edgier material. There is a definite Bill Hicks style on these tracks. MLK’s Dream and Rebel Flag are excellent social commentary that, and you can hear it, takes the audience off guard and makes it a tad wee bit uncomfortable. This is, as this entire independent release comedy CD is, solid and very funny stuff. Kudos to Tom Simmons for doing that kind of material. He gets his audience right back -though it was still there really-with Keepin’ a Cracka Down, a track that contains a comeback I am definitely going to use one day.

The only weak spot on Live! McCurdy’s Comedy Theater by stand-up comedian Tom Simmons is the sound is not as crisp as I like it. The sound quality is very good but a little cavernous at times and the rare but still annoying moment when the comic got the mike too close to his mouth is there..


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