Despite the too-easy, self-deprecating title, David Cross' latest comedy CD -- It's Not Funny -- is a hilarious, diverse look at his life, at politics, and at the world. The liner notes list random titles that never correspond to the track, but by the end of the disc, this seems more than appropriate. Cross himself never works to one main point -- he wants a laugh after each sentence.
It's Not Funny is a conversational show. Cross ignores a traditional comedic routine to talk with the audience, letting the story stand for itself, and allowing his aggressive delivery to punctuate the few tedious parts. Sometimes he even stops to talk with a particular audience member. The beauty in Cross' humor is that there is no build-up to a punchline. Each line works for its own laugh, suddenly culminating with a gut-buster where Cross must slow down while the audience recovers.
The disc is diverse with its humor, but it won't please everyone. Conservative listeners will not make it far before tuning out Cross' liberal jokes. Unlike Jon Stewart, Cross does not take jabs at his own political affiliation, but he does jab at himself, providing a degree of equality to the proceedings. No one is safe. He is ruthless in attacking the Bush administration, but he never preaches. Cross never elevates himself above the position of comic observer.
It's Not Funny does sport a few weaknesses. For instance, much of the humor may be irrelevant in a year, but with an election approaching, such long-term thinking should be left for future listeners. Cross is an informed comedian whose conversational approach fits the material well. Close your eyes and you will think he's right next to you, ready to ask what animal you would choose for your beastiality experiment. Answer wisely.