Finally Live In Portland
Comedy Dynamics, A Nacelle Company
Matt Braunger is a stand-up comedian and actor. He was a cast member at the end of MADtv’s run, he’s also been a voice artist (Bojack Horseman, among others) and pops up in bit parts on movies, he’s hosted a handful of podcasts and appeared on several others. All pretty standard stand-up CV. He’s also got a small handful of specials/albums to his name and the latest is Finally Live In Portland which you can listen to on CD or via streaming sites – or you can watch it as a filmed special. If that’s more your thing…
There’s a lot of bog-standard observations about middle-age and dating and some of it is pretty funny, some of it is simply okay. But there’s a bit about racism and white privilege that starts this album/special that is top-notch. Skewering the alt-right is easy and necessary and, well, correct. But the way Braunger does it is utterly sublime.
He also holds up the Gin Blossoms as a prime example of white privilege. Within the easy yuck and semi-obscure reference there’s a killer point – he uses their lyric about having the police chase them around town, they’ll drive it off, they’ll dude-bro be fine, as a prime example of white privilege. It’s hard to argue against it. It’s easy to see the divide right there.
The rest of this set is built well.
And though so much of this is bog-standard in approach there really are some shining bits. His bit about Generation X is perfect – “it’s like the corniest guy in your band picked your band name”. He laments the passing of youth, the chance to be dumb, to be allowed to as part of a piece called ‘Stop Hating Millennials’. There’s nothing laugh-out-loud funny here but there some decent points.
Braunger’s not making the best comedy right now. But he’s no slouch. I like the cut of some of his jib. He’s got some jibes I like a lot.