Comedians crave the spotlight the way plants covet sunlight. So Wednesdays at Timothy O’Toole’s in Chicago, their lodge of sorts, Marty DeRosa, Danny Kallas, Joe Kilgallon, Mike Lebovitz, Drew Michael and Michael Sanchez reconvene their six-member comedy club: Comedians You Should Know.
As if on a dimmer switch, the six sets on Comedians You Should Know (Red Bar Comedy Records) go from light to dusky to absolutely Marc Maron–facsimile dark.
Don’t construe that observation as a complaint either. Aside from the jokes, of course, the fun of listening to this mischievous album is the diving contest among Kallas, Kilgallon, Lebovitz, Michael and Sanchez to see who can go lower while remaining highly hilarious. (DeRosa, the emcee, is the relatively light member of this gregarious group.)
Weird (in a fun way) and wired describes all these comics, whose base is Chicago but not the basis of their comedy. This isn’t a provincial “How ’bout dem Bears,” “How ’bout dem Cubbies” CD or a paean to bratwurst. Oh no. All six expose their personalities and peccadilloes to strangers for laughs — and catharsis, perhaps. In the hands of six pros, racial differences and restraining-order sex (Drew Michael track below) sound positively hysterical.
Download a copy of Comedians You Should Know on iTunes. You won’t be sorry. Unless you like shitty comedy.