A misconception of stand-up is that it has to be about jokes. The set-ups, punch lines, bait and switch; but Chris Fairbanks moves beyond this. That’s not to say he doesn’t deliver some hilarious turns and jokes, it’s rather the real meat of his comedy comes more from something else: seemingly stream of consciousness comedic rambling.
He’s a master of a nervous, almost jazz-like spontaneous prose, so free-flowing yet forward-moving it makes one wonder whether this is brilliant scripting or just damned good improv.
On Fairbanks! (Rooftop Comedy), the comic skillfully takes a word or mental image and keeps twisting, and pushing it forward in an almost incoherent flow that takes on the absurd with such confidence it seems almost normal. What’s more, Fairbanks simply refuses to cater to the audience. The cheap laughs are few, and even with the occasional dirty joke, his sprawling delivery keeps it interesting and challenging. But with that pair of descriptors comes reality– and that means some jokes flop on Fairbanks! The audience at times, it seems, struggles to keep up, especially at the onset of the set. But Fairbanks plows through, and by the end he has them laughing at the most surreal and uncommon subject matters : “So, what’s with all these owls graduating?”
Though the album overall is strong, but given his style and the off-the-cuff nature of his delivery, there are few dynamic builds or big payoffs; in other words, there’s not many clear highlights. This is really the result of an album that’s more about the journey through style and form. And that journey is refreshing and evenly funny.
Download the entire album by clicking the image below!