I popped in the The Very Special World of Joseph Larkin comedy album the other morning on the way to work and found myself sitting in the parking ramp having what NPR calls a “driveway moment” – but not because it was funny. Not at all.
The first cut on the album was an unreal bomb. It was simply an embarrassing set and I’m thinking, why did this guy lead his album with a tragic set on the first track? Maybe he’ll get better as you get into the album?
The second track, he starts out, “I bombed pretty bad last time I was here, so I’m going to dumb it down,” and then proceeds to repeat “Git r Done” for an agonizing two and a half minutes while the audience laughs, then heckles, then goes silent thinking “Did we actually pay to see this?”
On one track, Larkin takes the stage and then plays a practice tape of him telling jokes from the previous track to uncomfortable giggles. On the next track, Larkin does a 30 second Larry the Cable Guy impression and then leaves the stage. Lark tells horrible jokes about his ex-girlfriend’s cancer, his sexual experiences, and frequently refers to “aids blood,” as a punchline. It’s horrible.
This guy is either a comic genius like Andy Kaufman or the lamest comic ever born — perhaps so filled with self-loathing he happens to record his greatest bombs, put out an album of them and mail them to bloggers.
But you keep listening. You can’t turn off the car and go inside. It’s like a car accident, and you can’t look away.