There are stand up comics who make a career out of other people’s pain; comics who make careers out of their own pain, and comics who make a career out of the story of their lives. Christopher Titus does all three [though in fairness, the other people’s pain comes from the members of his family, and his friends…].
If you watched FOX’s three-season sitcom, Titus, you’ve probably encountered much of this material – watered down, at least in terms of language – before. Or, you might have heard some of it on one of his other CDs, or at one of his concerts. If you have, don’t think you can skip this new two-CD set.
Christopher Titus does something that no other comic does – he makes a childhood that should be tragic and turns it into humor. Whether he’s explaining why fathers are better parents than mothers; suggesting likely occupations for ex-junkies, or detailing the events of his childhood, Titus pulls no punches – in fact, on occasion, he leans into them.
With his machine gun-like vocal style, he launches into moments of heartbreaking poignancy just long enough to turn them into some of the funniest bits you’ll ever hear. Even the title of the album – Norman Rockwell is Bleeding – is a humorous reference to the utterly dysfunctional nature of his family. There are too few comics whose work is actually as important as it is funny. Titus is one of them. If you think your family is weird, you owe it to yourself [and, possibly, your family] to check out this CD. Just don’t be too surprised if some of it rings the odd bell or two…
Final Grade: A+