Label his comedy agenda esoteric—he admits it may be so—but Kurt Braunohler’s consistently bringing the silly and absurd into a few lives at a time, and in telling us about it, he inspires us to do so as well.
How Do I Land? hit the digital libraries and shelves two days ago via Kill Rock Stars, and to say the least, it’s a great debut comedy album from a man whose comedic role extends far beyond the stage.
About a third of the way through the album, Braunohler states his purpose as a comedian: “I want to insert stupidity or absurdity into strangers’ lives because I think that, for a moment, it can make the world a better place.” He’s been working on that idea for some time now.
For example: go back to ten years ago and Braunohler was jaunting through the New York City streets dressed up as Chunk, the nine-foot tall chicken-skunk and evil half-brother of Chengwin, a chicken-penguin. It sounds absurd because it was. The two hybrid chickens squared off against each other in a quarter-mile marathon of epic proportion. Streets were blocked off, traffic was held up, and the two costumed chicken things were nearly arrested. According to Braunohler, one source called it “riot performance art.”
How Do I Land? is not riot performance art, but it is full of funny and absurd ideas from the same mind. What some may not realize is that the photo of the sky on the album cover is real. Last January, Braunohler launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise at least $4,000 to write a joke in the sky. Within a month the comedian met his goal and “How Do I Land?” was up there for all of Los Angeles to see. From there, a photo of it climbed up the boards on Reddit and made its way through the Internet. And that’s how promotion’s done.
A highlight on the album is when Braunohler tells us about other recent actions he’s taken in daily life in order to insert “stupidity and absurdity” into strangers’ lives. Hint: it involves Wikipedia, Barnes & Noble, and greeting cards.
In talking about the comedian’s doings off-stage, that’s not to detract from the jokes on the album; it’s littered with great jokes. Braunohler gives his very funny take on Californication, Glade air freshner, biscottis, a game called Chat Pack, Twitter, quiet orgasms, and much more. In one of my favorite moments, Kurt offers up some advice regarding PT Cruisers: “Guys, don’t ever race a dude who’s driving a PT Cruiser… ‘cause that guy has got nothin’ to lose. That guy’s at the end of his rope.”
There’s a fun energy in Braunohler’s voice throughout the show. He’s the kind of comedian whose sheer excitement sparks your interest and attention.
Without a question, the best story on the album is Braunohler telling the audience about the time he auditioned to be a German character in Sacha Baron Cohen’s Bruno.
I’d highly recommend this album. Braunohler’s philosophy could really start to catch on, like a fad or something. That said, is a contagious group of Braunohler followin’, goofin’ jokesters a good thing for society? Yes. Yes it is.