If you have seen or heard Posehn’s stand-up before then you are familiar with his nerdy, metal point of view. His reach can be pretty lowbrow– his 2013 album is titled The Fartist. Fart jokes, strippers, and marijuana are all in his wheelhouse. While his new album, Criminally Posehn, does have some new gaseous, raunchy material, the aging Posehn now adds an old man perspective to his arsenal.
He uses age to show perspective. In one bit, he roasts a younger, hipster comic. The younger comic’s act is about self-hate, and as Posehn puts it, “I’m f–king 49; I’ve earned my self-hatred.” He is not going to let some kid get away with an act about how hard it is being young and relatable. Posehn continues, making the point that he, himself, doesn’t even know who Weird Al is parodying anymore and refers to Robin Thicke as “Alan Thicke’s kid.” He makes it clear; he is out of touch. He’s old, and he hates it.
Posehn also uses age to rift classically in a self deprecating manner. He openly describes his “man boobs,” saying, “While I talk to you, my tits are being rude. They are sweating.” He makes self body shaming funny, and he adds more details, “I am much older so I have the tits of a much older woman.” This just grazes the beginning of sad, deeper bit about his depreciating body. Posehn uses age to heighten his already existing bawdiness and to increase the depth of his material. At face value, his bits sound like a fat slobbish guy acknowledging his physical state, but underneath, here’s a guy whose body is failing him while he is getting closer to the end of life. His silly analogies makes that second part a lot less sad.
Masterfully, Posehn does this again when tackling his depression. He begins a bit opening up about being on the road, watching a movie naked in a hotel, and being depressed. The joke transitions from being in this lonely moment into a mission to get into the bathroom. What starts as a pitiful scene ends in a rampant fart joke. This is theme of the album: how dark and deep can Posehn go and turn it into something ridiculous.
If this album was a metal song, track 7, “Best Dinner Ever”, would be the bridge. This is where Posehn addresses what is happening without blatantly saying – hey this is my thing. The bits align around a time he went out to eat with a friend, and the friend humorously describes the food tasting like “angel come.” It’s a good laugh, and the two moved on from it. That is until the comedian makes a call back to his friend, specifically referring to preparation of the angels’ by product. In the bit, the friend calls him out saying, “Why’d you make it weird?” Posehn agrees that he did make it weird. This joke is basically a breakdown of his formula. He starts with an idea and takes to a very strange place.
It’s winning when the bit ends with farts or murdering Grandpa at Thanksgiving. The whole album follows the Posehn’s formula. Criminally Posehn aptly captures what his fans want and will surely draw more in.
You can pick up your copy of of Brian Posehn: Criminally Posehn right here.