Christopher Titus is an attack dog comedian. His material is more lecture than it is jokes. He could easily pass as the Sam Kinison-type professor from Back To School, simply due to his pervasiveness and his well-thought out political commentary. Although not as angry as Kinison, he still packs a punch. His style is like a more intense version of Bill Maher, moving deftly from political topic to pop culture observation. There isn’t a lot of time for breathe when listening to Christopher Titus. He’s a bit like letting a rabid dog attack some fresh meat.
On his fourth comedy album, Neverlution!, the comedy veteran wails against all major current events of the last ten years. He harps on Osama bin Laden using goat farmers to attack the World Trade Center, and the more recent aviation attacks, including the sneaker and underwear bombers. His theory is that terrorism is over is highlighted by the inept Times Square bomber of last year. As Titus puts it, “I’ve been doing comedy for 25 years and I’ve NEVER been that funny.”
While at times heavy on applause breaks, Titus’ humor is based on the people he perceives as jerks who are allowed to roam free and cause havoc. These people also happen to be politicians who have abused their power. Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush II, all white men who did things that negatively affected the country. He even asks white people if they trust white people. “You know you don’t,” he says mockingly. Titus then goes after popular culture icons such as Lady Gaga, who is “proof that David Bowie raped Carol Burnett.”
Titus is so hyperactive; the audience can feel the chaos that is his life. Nothing is easy and it’s his job to weed out the people who he thinks are wasting his oxygen supply. It isn’t sit back and relax humor. Titus wants to engage the audience and make people think. He has a very spitfire delivery that never quite stops. He will pause, but then he’ll start right up again. It’s the pro-lifers who go on shooting sprees because they don’t approve of certain doctors. It’s the people whose lives are consumed by texting or talking extra loud on their cell phone. It’s also the people who are afraid to punish their children and keep them in line. He doesn’t suggest beating kids, he just suggests accidentally elbowing them in the face.
As a comic veteran, Titus is equal parts comedian and historian. He discusses the first black people to make history, including Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens, and the doctor who performed the first open heart surgery, Daniel Hale Williams. I’m willing to bet most established comics don’t know who Hale Williams is. Titus’ comedic rage also serves as history lesson for his audience. He takes the edginess that is Denis Leary and molds it around his own life experiences. He makes the audience process the stories he tells, and if you are shocked by what he says, he knows he’s doing his job.
Adam Ullian is a contributing writer and founder of YuletideSnapper.com