Working off the idea that it’s easy to find comfort in familiar settings, Kyle Cease has found a winning formula for comedy: Gain your audience’s trust quickly by letting them know you’re one of them, then, make your buddies laugh.
Throughout his Comedy Central album, One Dimple, Cease accomplishes this by using pop culture references — more specifically, those that are known by anyone between the ages of 20 and 30 — to relate, and ultimately, kill his young audience.
Of course it helps that many of his fans have seen his memorable turns in 10 Things I Hate About You and Not Another Teen Movie. You remember: He was the overzealous slow clapper who just couldn’t get the timing right. Still, without chops, this album wouldn’t work. But it does.
Like a cross between Nick Swardson and Daniel Tosh, Cease maintains a quick pace and a strong voice throughout his set. Never a lull in tempo or volume, the 28-year-old Seattle native cranks out joke after joke, creating just enough urgency to keep the audience’s attention.
For the most part, his stand-up acts as a light-hearted review of our childhood (read: age requirements above). Although he swears somewhat liberally, his themes rarely wander into what most would consider adult-oriented material. He jokes about, among other things, using inverted calculators in school to write variations of the word “boobs,” blowing in your Nintendo (the original 8-bit model) to make it work and the absurdity of the old Sunny Delight commercials.
He also finds time to engage in observational wit: “The older you are in the locker room at the gym, the more fucking naked you have to be — old people are like a display case” — as well as the absurd, as in, “I told that joke to my mom, Bambi. Her name’s not Bambi. We just call her that because she’s a stripper and her mom was killed by a hunter.”
One Dimple also comes with a DVD containing an exhaustive film documenting Cease’s tour of 68 colleges in 2004, a Premium Blend appearance and commentaries by the comic himself.
Sure, Cease’s generation-specific comedy might not be for everyone, but for the most part, comedy that the mainstream could relate to through and through is usually vanilla at best, and just plain shitty at worst.