Comedian John Mulaney’s second full-length album (and first hour-long stand-up special) New in Town has a light-heartedness about it that makes it not only funny, but also proves just how accessible Mulaney’s comedic voice is. So it’s still no wonder that in the last few years, the comic has become one of the most sought-after talents in the comedy world. On this album, like his first — 2009’s The Top Part — Mulaney presents a perfect mix of long-form stories stuffed with satisfying details, quicker anecdotes and straight-up punch line-heavy jokes.
Whether it be embarrassing stories about lying to his doctor (sometimes you have to sacrifice your ass if you want that Xanax prescription) or high school parties gone terribly awry (why yes, that is poop on your computer), the Saturday Night Live scribe approaches it with a perfect amount of self-deprecation that never inspires “awwws” from the audience. In fact, Mulaney introduces controversy every so often, though he’s always careful to disclaim a bit, as in, “This is going to get playfully anti-semetic, so just let it go there. I’ll get in trouble. You won’t.”
That unabashed goofiness serves Mulaney well throughout the album’s entirety. In several instances, he likens himself to a child — both physically (he’s got feminine hips, don’t you know?) and metaphorically (his girlfriend — sorry, ladies — does a lot of the adult thinking in the relationship) which makes his jokes about Law & Order: SVU and bank heists (women would never be able to pull it off, but nor for the reasons you may think) even more endearing.
Actually, Mulaney is one of the few comedians that writes jokes from appreciation of and not just from his disdain of the things at which he pokes fun. The New York Post (the paper famous for ultra-brief stories and laughably illustrative headlines), Jewish people (don’t worry, his girlfriend is Jewish!), and even the concept of making fun of people are all things that Mulaney celebrates while breaking them down and making each topic hilarious. The point is this: New In Town is exquisitely written and delivered with a professionalism equal to comedians twice his age. It’s early in the year, but it’s not at all risky to say that this will be one of the best comedy albums released in 2012.
You should download New In Town on iTunes now– unless you hate owning excellent stand-up comedy.