Nate Bargatze, the Tennessee-bred, New York City-based comic has, for the last few years, gained the respect of his peers, criss-crossed the country headlining at our better comedy clubs and has entered mainstream comedy conscience with a trio of appearances on Conan and his own half-hour special on Comedy Central. And with his just-released debut album Yelled At By A Clown, we finally (and thankfully) get a full-length look into the mind of the quickly-rising comedian.
With his understated delivery and low-energy approach on stage, Bargatze proves the most valuable weapon a comedian can possess is a well-written, intelligent joke. A relatable point of view doesn’t hurt either, as Clown finds the 33-year-old suffering a pre-midlife crisis of sorts. He struggles to reconcile mundane and seemingly basic adult responsibilities, like withdrawing money from the bank or understanding how his insurance policy works. Luckily, he’s got help from his wife. Bargatze’s been married for six years, “so it’s getting pretty serious,” he says, before sharing a story about a downward-spiraling text message exchange with his better half, who sometimes asks him, “Did I marry you or did I have you?!”
Throughout the album, Bargatze bounces from quick-laugh jokes to expertly crafted stories and extended ruminations (one, about his un-ironic love for Wal-Mart, which can be heard above)– all packed with wholly satisfying punch lines. But despite his obvious talent and current success, the self-defeating monster inside Bargatze is always trying to emerge. Even the names of the album’s 20 tracks form a hilarious inner dialogue that speaks to that. And there’s a point during the set wherein Bargatze contemplates quitting comedy. There’s a catch, though: “It’s pretty hard to quit something nobody knows you do…I don’t have a boss. I can’t just call Cosby and be like, ‘Look, I’m out.’”
Lucky for us, Bargatze is just joking.
You should buy Nate Bargatze’s album Yelled At By A Clown immediately. Go here and do it!