Half way through his latest album, Bobby Collins thankfully crosses the line of what’s appropriate – even in terms of topics generally tackled on the stand-up stage, a place where what’s considered the norm would make the average office worker cringe.
With great earnestness, the legendary comic testifies: “It’s time we go back to beating the children. Beat your kids. Tonight, go home, wake ’em up; bloody those sons of bitches up. Don’T let your children define who you are. Beat the shit out of them.”
He commits to the absurdity of the rather retro style of parenting; and at the same time taps into the dark recesses of even the best parents’ minds. Dark, honest and funny: a reliable combination for great comedy.
Unfortunately, most of the material on Mr. New York fails to reach that level. Rather, a smattering of hard laughs are weighed down by jokes that desperately want to be different, to have bite and guts, to be a bit shocking but, alas, are simply pedestrian. Too often, Collins tries to find the funny in the obvious —
EZ Pass lanes on the highway move faster than regular lanes — without adding much of a twist. Or he leans on tired topics (like Sen. Larry Craig’s bathroom misadventures) for easy laughs.
Then there’s the kooky idea of Restless Leg Syndrome: “Are they just making up diseases to sell pills?” Collins asks. “Like WHS, wild hip syndrome? My wife’s got TTS[sic]: Titty Shake Sydrome.”
Throughout his set, his hometown Long Island crowd laps up just about everything Collins puts in front of them – funny or otherwise — oftentimes screaming out “Bobby!” and cackling at nonsensical, pandering-to-the-locals one-liners. No doubt, the veteran comic has been tenured.