In this GPS world, Josh Sneed navigates to laughs using the comic equivalent of an old road map. On Unacceptable, his new CD for Comedy Central Records, Sneed follows proven paths to amusing audiences: tease the family (including, God forbid, his grandpa, a former Southern Baptist minister), mock the Wicked Bitch of the West (yeah, yeah, the stifling, suffocating ex-girlfriend), and shock listeners with several jesting jolts of all-natural sarcasm. (Here’s hoping all Hispanic housekeepers agree with Sneed that his joke about the frustration of folding fitted sheets is hilarioso!)
He comes across as a rolled-up-sleeves-shirt-collar-open kind of guy, so it’s surprising to learn that Sneed once worked in the button-down corporate world. He’s not a company man anymore, but Sneed can still act the part. Onstage, he behaves like an enthusiastic traveling salesman who flies to clubs and colleges selling his screwy view of the world.
Although his orbit coincides with other comedians’, Sneed tilts the punch lines enough to make the seemingly derivative imaginative, creating new jokes from familiar premises, including the oddballs who infest the white-trash landfills we quaintly call flea markets; extra-chunky children and their thickheaded parents; the letdown of growing up, the dim bulbs caught in the spotlight (and legal trap) of predator shows. Especially inventive: jokes about watching TV with his young cousins, wherein he turns a journey with innocent, inquisitive Dora the Explorer into an uproarious hallucinogenic drug trip.
At 31, Sneed qualifies as an adult, but often on Unacceptable (the title derives from the less-than-pleasant Thanksgiving present he once gave alleged singer Jessica Simpson at an airport in Texas), he sounds like a guy whose development was arrested at 15 and never released from custody, a professional detriment for a businessman, but quite the benefit for a funnyman.