Paul Mooney – Masterpiece
Masterpiece is Paul Mooney’s second album, which he put out a year after his first, according to Google Music (god only knows how accurate that is). Paul Mooney is underrated, especially among white comics. He is just absolutely impressive. He’s able to craft one liners that hit the core of huge topics. He doesn’t shy away from talking about social issues, but doesn’t “tell you how it is” with a long monologue. He tells you how it is by making the quickest, punchiest joke he can. An example of this from a joke about crack. “This shit wears niggers out too hard, this shit was created for us, this shit was created to make niggers tweak. Something in the nigger blood or something, this shit, these niggers, I got a cousin that does this shit so much, niggers 20 years old and talking to flies. Don’t kill me, that’s Pete, that’s Pete, that’s Pete. Motherfucker, this is a fly.” His calm demeanor while delivering jokes brings a sense of uniqueness to them.
There is an extended bit about the OJ Simpson trial. I imagine that during the trial, that was a hot topic for stand up comedians. As I was only one year old when this album came out, I didn’t follow the trial with any great detail. But the jokes on this album are still great. There are 14 tracks in total about OJ Simpson, each hitting on a different aspect. Along with a Michael Jackson joke, almost every comic has an OJ joke. Mooney’s extended OJ bit hits everything and does it with a well-written elegance that other jokes lack.
My favorite joke on this album is a more whimsical one, titled “Psychic Dionne.” He gets into this immediately: “Dionne Warwick, a psychic? Who would have thought?” The aggressive nature of how he says this, and then going into what a ridiculous idea it is, sells this joke. It’s a quick 40 second thing and feels completely off the cuff.
This is one of those albums you need to listen to if you love comedy.