An album titled Wildly Inappropriate arouses some expectations. Mostly, it prepares the listener for nonstop offensive humor or an otherwise edgy act that will draw out laughs from highly uncomfortable topics. Daryl Wright’s debut album, however funny, may be ever-so-slightly mistitled.
The Los Angeles-based comedian has a strong start when the live portion of the album begins. The actual opening features his closing joke remixed into a house music track. (The album also ends with music). Confusing, to say the least. When the music is over, Wright tackles race, class and sexuality. In fact, early on he pleads with the audience to not allow “white guilt” to mess up the show, reassuring them, “Do any of ya’ll still own slaves? Then what are you guilty about?”
Quick to include everybody, he throws in a brilliant race question to the Mexicans in the audience: “Why can’t ya’ll just do the paperwork and just be legal? It comes in Spanish. What the fuck don’t?” Everyone in the audience is his “dog” as he creates a vibe similar to that of hanging with friends in your basement.
His jokes are posed to us in simple, yet hilarious, questions that make the strange familiar and the familiar strange. But just when we’re getting into the socio-political commentary, the album takes a misleading (or maybe brave?) trajectory. An act usually begins with personal musings that lead up to headier topics. Wright begins with race and class and then suddenly steps back into a story about getting kicked off BET (which like him, I thought, “I didn’t know black guys could get kicked off BET”) and another story about him being high during a police chase. Once you’re set-up for social issues you’re blindsided by seemingly misplaced stories. Once you realign yourself for the change, though, Wright provides his own skillful spin on played-out premises. Ever hear the one that starts with, “Men and women are different?”
Wright’s album was released by Eardrum Records, the late George Carlin’s record label. The Washington D.C. ex-felon (he once shot a crackhead, he tells us on the album) was hand picked by Carlin’s former HBO producer and director, Rocco Urbisci to join the label. That’s interesting in itself. What’s more interesting is that the album is 37 minutes long, hardly long enough for a typical headlining set. And If you take out the beginning and ending dance tracks, it’s 32 minutes long.
There’s no doubt Wright is a strong, promising talent and has certainly earned respect in the comedy community, which is partly demonstrated by his inclusion in the Showtime special, Jon Lovitz Presents as well as the aforementioned signing to Carlin’s label. But despite his talent and tenacity, Wildly Inappropriate — while mostly entertaining — seems like it may have been rushed into release.
You can snag yourself a copy of Wildly Inappropriate at Amazon.com.