This album is a straight up classic. Gottfried’s voice is so wild and out there that sometimes it’s easy to forget that he’s telling some of the tightest jokes around. There was a moment, about three tracks into Dirty Jokes, where I went, “Oh, the title tells you what it is… Just dirty one-liners for an hour,” and then I knew I loved this album more than I could ever anticipate. There are other one liner albums, like Dan Miz’s The Stranger. Miz also takes a specific voice and theme and uses it for an entire set of one-liners.
This is one of my favorite albums ever. The jokes are nonstop. Never is there any filler or elongated premises, just the tightest jokes. Well, maybe the final joke on the CD has a bit of a long setup, but that’s the point. The last joke is “The Aristocrats.” If you don’t know about the story of that joke, there is a documentary called “The Aristocrats” which features Gottfried along with dozens of other comics telling the history of the joke and performing it.
One joke is called “Bear and Rabbit” and goes roughly like this: “The bear asks the rabbit, ‘does shit stick to your fur?’ And the rabbit says no. So the bear wipes his ass with the rabbit.” Gottfried sets this joke up by saying that it’s family friendly because it is about animals. He doesn’t comment on most jokes, rather lets them stand on their own, but here he comments on the bear and rabbit, saying it was very inconsiderate of the bear. I find these few moments on the album to be great. They’re very silly of Gottifried and add some air in the set, and make it feel a bit more flexible, a little more like a live event. He doesn’t do this very often though, so it’s not overbearing and doesn’t come off like he needs to fill time. One time he strays is during the opening of “She’s Dead’ where he comments, “A man goes to the doctor… as so many men do in these jokes.” This part is relatively quick but so silly, especially because it’s halfway through the set.
He’s very quick and gets consistent laughs. Each track is about two and a half to three minutes long and has three to four jokes on it. Each joke will have a few small laughs in the setup and one big laugh at the end, where the twist of logic comes in. Some jokes are absurd; in one, a man has five penises, and in another animals talk to each other. None of this feels unbelievable.
Listening to the album, as a stand-up comic myself, reminds me what the structure of a joke really is. Here, it’s not overcomplicated. It’s: setup, punchline. There is not a grand message or a need to “hide” the setup and punchline. Gottfried’s ability to get laughs during the setups is another thing I pay attention to — the weird way he is able to say certain words and give the characters in his joke personality without focusing too much on them.
And the voice. It’s over the top, it’s strange, it’s perfect for the filth that his jokes are and it’s perfectly paired with Gottfried’s deadpan, absolute non-wise-guy delivery. This album is joke-writing at its finest. Anyone who loves stand-up comedy should make sure they’ve checked this one out. The only thing that sucks is that this is the only album of Gottfried’s. He does have another special, but it’s not available on Netflix or as an album on Google play. Thought there is a documentary called Gilbert, about him.