Jon Lajoie is a comedian with a guitar… and he knows how to use it. He’s also a comedian with an overripe vocabulary that he knows how to overuse. Although there’s plenty of bleeping throughout this half-hour, the viewer needs little imagination to know what Lajoie has spoken. The biggest problem is not that this stuff is offensive (although it is to many people) but that it is so overdone. Stand-up comedians are no longer challenged to be intelligent, to find synonyms for words that can’t be said on stage, because anything can be said on stage. The result is that they use the same epithets repeatedly, ignoring an opportunity to be creatively funny. The fact that there is an audience for this type of humor doesn’t elevate it.
Lajoie starts his set with a very funny, satirical rap song, “Everyday Normal Guy.” It’s got more MFs in it than I’d care to count, but that works because it’s appropriate to the context. (Now don’t go around quoting that I think that saying MF is appropriate.) Fourteen minutes into the program he performs an even better number, “If I Had Wings.”
Two of his funniest bits weren’t musical. In one, he explains how all his comedian friends pressured him into including a sexist joke. (“After I have sex I like my women to be like my mailbox… outside of my house.”) It’s an excruciatingly bad joke, and he knows it; Lajoie feigns embarrassment at having told it. The second is when he starts to tell us that he bought a car last week (“By ‘bought’ I mean ‘poisoned’… by ‘car’ I mean ‘my neighbors dog.’”).
Lajoie selects an audience member to serenade with “Happy Birthday,” but it’s his own version which details the night the man was conceived and the events that followed it. It’s funny in a very ick kind of way — do you really want to imagine your parents… well, never mind.
“Have You Ever Been High as *****” and “Show Me Your Genitals” are the last two musical offerings. The first is okay, somewhat funny but too much of an almost-good thing; the second is so sexist he need never tell another sexist joke, yet so juvenile, it’s painful. Comedy Central is so generous that Comedy Central Presents Jon Lajoie is the second half of a double feature; the first half is an even less funny Comedy Central Presents Rob Riggle. I can’t imagine anyone being so bereft of something to do on Friday, March 5, that he or she would watch this.
One might think stand-up comedy is a dying art; mediocre practitioners seem to be beating it to death. Having viewed Comedy Central’s February 21 offering, Sinbad: Where You Been?, I can assure you that it is on life support. It’s refreshing to see a comedian who can capably parody a variety of subjects without being repetitive or vulgar, and gratifying to know there is still respect for the medium.
Bottom Line: Would I watch Comedy Central Presents Jon Lajoie? No *** way!