Yesterday afternoon I received an email from Andrist asking if I'd been abducted. "If you need words that rhyme with suck for a review let me know," he remarked.
I felt bad. I'd been sitting on his CD for months and had been promising to review it ever since it was sent out around March this year. In my defence I'd been going through some weird shit which culminated in me being fired from my day job.
So I promised to review it the following day and sat down that night to watch What's Eating Gilbert Grape - a movie that I hadn't seen in quite some time. And that's when it hit me. Holy Jumping Jesus! Andy Andrist reminds me of Arnie Grape (the retard played by Leonardo Di Cappuccino in the movie).
Now I don't mean that in a derogatory sense. Yes, I am aware that I just called Andy a 'retard', but hopefully he will forgive me given that he mentions on his CD that his goal is to become retarded.
But this is no big secret. Prior to receiving his CD I hadn't actually heard any of Andrist's material but had been fortunate enough to hang out with the guy on a number of occasions in Death Valley. Let's just say that Andy has an amazing childlike quality about him that can instill you with paranoia whilst at the same time make you chuckle uncontrollably as you egg him on towards oblivion.
In short, the guy is basically insane, but in the most entertaining kind of way, and it was no surprise to me at all to discover that his CD was one of the funniest things I'd heard in a long time.
Dumb It Down For The Masses doesn't fuck around. From the onset this recording tears right into everything politically correct and wrong with western culture. From retards, fatties, trailer parks and Wal-Mart, there is no subject too risqué for Andrist to get his teeth into. The irony is is that if you are offended by his material then it's not because Andy holds any prejudices. What's clever about his style is the way in which he uses the politically incorrect to incite and inflame the prejudices of others.
And I've seen him do it first hand. From myself to knuckle-draggers on a Man Show shoot, Andy Andrist is a Kamikaze pilot of human manipulation. His contempt isn't directed toward the likes of fat people or trailer trash. In his eyes these people are merely a bi-product of a world gone wrong. What he truly despises is the ordinary, the average, and most probably the audience that unwittingly turns up to his shows each night in search of trouble-free entertainment.
Here's a couple of excerpts from the CD:
"Don't spend your money on The Packers or The Badgers. Go to the Special Olympics because they're not all coked up and raping people. They're happy athletes just wanting to compete. Some of them trained all year and some of them didn't even know they were gonna compete that day - they just showed up with short pants and running shoes ... Cheer those athletes on. That's what I do. I get there early with my buddies, we get fucked up and we all have hundred dollar bills. We bet on every race, that's what makes it interesting. You can't call it, it's not a horse race, there's no back record on them. It's just impulse betting ... I'll take the kid with rubber boots, it's a wet track, I've got a hunch."
"You don't get back at Starbucks by kicking in their windows because you just involve the insurance companies, and they're a big fucking sham too. If you want to get back at Starbucks, do what I do. I go in there every morning and order a triple grande latte with fucking sprinkles, and then I drop it on the floor. That's anarchy. I've just cut your profit margin in half you fuckers. Mop it up you greedy cocksuckers! Oops I stepped on my scone as well. Can I get another one of those please?"
Andy is clearly as funny on stage as he is in real life. His dialogue moves rapidly with little time for pause, and whilst timing is always emphasised by comedy critics as being of great importance, the fact that there is virtually none with Andrist works in his favour. You never get time to digest the last laugh before he hits you with another.
Andrist has all the makings of a headline act. Critics should take note of his unique talent as I'm confident that within two years from now his comedy will be as recognisable as those of his outlaw peers. Doug Stanhope is clearly an influence to Andrist, but that doesn't mean he plagiarizes. Whilst one can sense a similarity in the provocative style of both comics, Andrist's material is original, quirkier and very different in context.