In an effort to convince the audience that they are really just talking to friends, not performing a string of premeditated jokes, some comics stock their sets with bits based on believable premises. The idea is that whether these bits are pure fiction, 100 percent true or a combination of both possibilities, the listener theoretically should believe every word coming out of the comic’s mouth. As in, it’s funny because it’s true.
Other comics deal in the absurd, abandoning realistic constructs in favor of bizarre musings. On Funny Mother Flower, Brooklyn-based comic D.C. Benny combines reality and absurdity — many times in the same joke — and proves the marriage of these strategies makes for a valuable formula.
This recipe is strong in effect when Benny tells the crowd at the D.C. Improv about the time he took a yoga class at his wife’s urging. Forced to wear pajama pants because he had no clean sweats, things go awry when a heated exchange with another class member results in his dick popping out of his pants.
Absurdity also meets reality when Benny tells his hilarious taxi story, wherein a New York City cab ride turns into an “Indian Nascar event” when another taxi driver challenges Benny’s driver to a race across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Benny also finds humor in the mundane, like when he chews over his experiences with his dentist: “The dentist brings me into the office and starts digging in my mouth. He’s like, “There’s some bleeding from your gums. You must not be brushing.” Benny’s response? “That wouldn’t have anything to do with that metal fucking hook, would it?”
And if you’ve seen Benny’s Comedy Central Presents, you’ll recognize his now-classic bit about how he was forced to take Luwanda, a 300-pound cheerleader, to the prom. Hint: That’s what happens when you grow up poor in Washington, D.C. and Popeye’s biscuits — which were as good as cash or better there — are used against you.
Throughout Funny Mother Flower, Benny does a great job of grounding his material in situations his audience can relate to, then adding hilarious fantasy in
a way that his fans could never do on their own. The result: plenty of belly laughs throughout this nearly 40-minute disc.