Rob Delaney: Live at the Bowery Ballroom

Rob Delaney/Courtesy

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If you’re on Twitter and you’re not following Rob Delaney, you’re really missing out. From jokes about bodily functions (of the anal-genital variety, mostly) to jokes about politics (see: mittandrob.tumblr.com), there’s very little Delaney doesn’t joke about. He’s Twitter’s consummate funnyman, the No. 1 troll of verified accounts and a wearer of Speedos. He’s — surprisingly —  a husband, a father and probably one of the funniest people doing stand-up right now. In his newest comedy album, Live at the Bowery Ballroom, Delaney lets the jokes rip like farts. And yes, it’s wonderful.

Butthole jokes are a dime a dozen nowadays, and they can get stale. In the era of Judd Apatow-style humor, the rear ends of funny man-boys are at the forefront of comedy. But Delaney adds something by way of nuanced bodily humor. OK, maybe not nuanced, but at least more plot-driven. If there’s a strength in Live from the Bowery Ballroom, it’s Delaney’s dedication to providing narratives.

His profane insistence on poop and describing the functions of his “penis tube” is charming because Delaney understands that his dogged vulgarity should not be the focus of the joke; it should be a side to the main comedy dish. So yeah, there’s “Butts.” But there’s also “Hepatitis,” “Circumcision,” “Death and Marriage” and “Jewish Life.” And in “I Love My Baby,” Delaney makes diaper jokes, sure. But he’s capitalizing on the love for his newborn son, whom he swears he’ll follow to college because he can’t stand to be away from him.

But to claim Delaney is actually masking some sort of greater narrative sophistication under the guise of comedy would be a great disservice to Delaney and comedy as a whole. Because “Jewish Life” isn’t what you’d think — it’s Delaney having a bowel movement on a driveway before a Hasidic Jewish woman because he couldn’t reach a bathroom in time. Or maybe I’m wrong, and it’s exactly what you expected. Either way, Delaney is the storyteller you wish you knew in real life. As much as “you’re the boss of what goes in and out of your butthole,” you’re the boss of the media you consume, and Live at the Bowery Ballroom is certainly an excellent one to laugh at. Whether or not you choose to stick it in your butthole is, as Delaney says, up to you.

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