Comedian D.C. Benny has been performing his storytelling style of stand-up comedy for the last twenty years. It’s only natural that he would be the ringleader of a comedy storytelling show entitled Urban Myth. But it’s more than just some made up stories. As Benny explains, “People always wonder what comedians lives are like off stage. This show is a peek into that world.”
In the way that a popular comedy podcast such as Marc Maron’s WTF? can delve into the personal life of a professional comedian, Urban Myth does just that, except the conversation is not directed by the podcast host. Rather, it’s a rhetorical performance without the small talk. It’s what the comedian on stage decided to share about his or her personal life with a large audience.
Isn’t that just most stand-up comedy? I don’t see the big difference, you say. Urban Myth isn’t your normal stand-up album. There’s a spin on it in that it features six veteran comedians, it’s a little personal, and some of the stories are about the comedy world itself. For example, comedian Vic Henley shares a story about a show he did in England where a very disgruntled “midget” heckled his comedian friend for using the word “midget” on stage. The events that unfold in this situation across the pond are terribly funny and true.
There are no shticks or masks, just funny stories from funny people and there we begin to see a thing to take away from this album: where does “the funny” go when these comedians get off stage? Nowhere, it seems, because it’s their life. I’ll assume that, in any situation (back stage, at a bar or restaurant), these six comics naturally tell better stories than your drunk uncle (maybe) or your friend who keeps saying “ah, yeah so, anyway” all the time.
As D.C. Benny explains, “We started Urban Myth years ago with a bunch of funny guys sitting around the back of a jazz bar telling funny stories.”
Big Jay Oakerson’s story about working for an escort service as a struggling young comedian is a must hear. Interesting detail about Oakerson’s story: the phone number for the nighttime escort service was the same phone number one would use to hire a costumed actor for a child’s birthday party. Oakerson lets us in on being caught between two drastically different businesses that just so happen to share the same phone number.
Additionally, the album features stories about Tracy Morgan and Denzel Washington from former SNL cast member Dean Edwards and a story about PCP with Junior High gang members from comedian Jess Wood.
Urban Myth is a solid addition to the comedy library for any comedy fan, aspiring comedian or storyteller. It’s in stores April 9th.