Noah Gardenswartz completely delivers on his new album, Blunt. Gardenswartz showcases an ability to be a storyteller while mixing in punchlines derived through observations, playing on words, and pop culture references.
Gardenswartz comments on the world around him and shows how he’s not quite a fit. He’s got the point of a view of a white guy living “in the hood.” He definitely uses this to make a funny observation and to take a shot at himself. He makes note of a stereotype where white people who live in the hood often are confused as cops. For fear of being grouped as such, he openly smoked pot in his neighborhood. He riffs about overhearing a neighbor say, “Yo, that cop smokes weed, son.” His tendency is to give a set-up that is contextual and then summing it up with a hard punch, many times using misdirection. He does this when he describes a child sharing a riddle about time, he sums the story up with “if you’re ever in the park, and you see a grown man intensely talking to a young girl, do not assume the worst, okay? He could just be on acid.”
Gardenswartz also effectively uses word play for a laugh. He jokes about not knowing the appropriate use of the word “whom,” and he tags with it, “But whom cares.” The joke lands. While he remarks that the crowd likes grammar jokes, performing the line shows he is willing to take a risk on a joke that could have possibly gone over people’s heads or garnered a groan. His jokes have a fun complexity from the way he is using language. Another example is him describing when he won a comedy competition, “holding a giant trophy while riding public transportation for an hour is great way of letting people know you won, but are still losing.” There’s a little bit of that misdirection again, and he is playing on the idea of winning.
Another triumphant moment that he describes is when he met Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World. The reference to the TV character is somewhat obscure which attributes to the funniness of the joke. Pulling from pop culture is another tool Gardenswartz likes to use. When asked about slavery as a teacher to elementary school students in Georgia, he tags his reaction as, “This is my Dangerous Minds moment right here.” Again, the reference is dated, but it simultaneously aides Gardenswartz’s point of view.
His point of view is his strength. He is a Jewish white guy trying to get by in the hood doing comedy after spending time teaching children in Georgia about slavery. This is where he creates this world that includes a Jewish Dos Equis guy. Blunt proves that Noah Gardenswartz has potential to be the most interesting guy.
Blunt is available now via Comedy Central Records. Be sure to watch the premiere of his episode of The Half Hour on August 26th at midnight. And you can re-watch his late night debut on Conan right here.