I happen to like Rob Schneider. He was funny on Saturday Night Live and many of his movies were equally enjoyable. The Deuce Bigalow movies, while no masterpieces, were consistently laughter-inducing. He's not a groundbreaking comic genius, but he generally gets beat up by critics far more than he deserves. He now has a brand new comedy album, Registered Offender. Knowing that he performs stand-up in comedy clubs, but having never seen him, I was eager to hear what I hoped would be a recorded live performance.
That's not exactly the case with Registered Offender. To better understand what kind of album this is, imagine the funniest guys you knew in eighth grade. They were probably crude and vulgar, but maybe not the most imaginative or original. Now imagine they were given the keys to a first rate recording studio and the full disposal of an experienced audio production team. That kind of summarizes the content of Schneider's album. Working with several collaborators, Schneider has come up with sixteen audio sketches complete with music, sound effects and fake digital radio station airchecks. At the center of it all, Schneider voices all the many characters' dialogue himself.
Ultimately, a comedy album needs to make the listener laugh. I didn't. Hardly even the occasional chuckle. Never mind the album title, because I didn't find any of the subject matter truly offensive. Rather, from start to finish, the writing is simply juvenile and amateurish. The liner notes explain that Schneider lost his contract with a larger label due to the sketch entitled "Yoko and Julian." According to Schneider himself, the label was afraid of offending Yoko Ono and therefore didn't want to touch the album. That may very well be a true story. But I have the sneaking suspicion that after hearing Registered Offender, they simply reconsidered based on the work as a whole.