By virtue of writing this review, I’m veering perilously close to the cesspool of people whom Joe DeRosa warns us to avoid on his new project, You Let Me Down. To be honest, I can’t say he’d be wrong. The Internet really is chock-full of people who think the rest of the world needs to be informed of their every thought and opinion simply because they have access to a keyboard and free coffee-shop wifi.
I’ve always been careful to stress that my opinions here at Comedy Reviews are exactly that: opinions. You may very well disagree with my point of view, my style of writing, or the font I’ve lazily chosen, and that’s totally allowed. At the end of the day, I’m just a dork who enjoys listening to – and writing about – stand-up comedy with very little actual stand-up experience that would qualify me to do so.
I say all of that to say this: I really liked You Let Me Down. It made me laugh. A lot.
And now, as is the duty of every self-proclaimed online reviewer, I shall expound despite the fact no one asked me to.
I’ve been a fan of DeRosa’s for some time now (long-time readers of the site may recall my very first review was his The Depression Auction CD), and despite the title of this newest outing he has yet to let me down. There are few people who can wring so much funny out of so much disgruntledness. As DeRosa gets more and more wound up (Why can’t we just go back to punching each other in the face? Why do we insist on open-casket funerals? And seriously, Arizona… what the hell is wrong with you?), the humor of his rants escalates proportionally.
Unlike many comics shining the light of WTF on people and situations around them, DeRosa isn’t doing so from a position of superiority. He’s transparent about his battle with anxiety and the one-on-one confrontations he and Prozac have battled out. That being said, there’s a lot out there begging to be dealt with and taken down a peg or two and Joe is just the guy for the job.
DeRosa has no patience for Olympic athletes and even less understanding of the confusion that sets in when they inevitably act up. Of course Ryan Lochte did what he did; he’s an athlete and… well… athletes are assholes. Where’s the mystery?
It’s golden geese like these whose necks DeRosa so gleefully throttles on this album, and to be completely honest, it’s a great thing to witness. He doesn’t shy away from being what may be perceived as politically incorrect and, of course, therein lies the comedy. He refuses to play it safe and as a result we get some great bits on gender equality (Are we fistfighting or not?), dating apps (There’s a fine line between psychopaths, sociopaths, and serial killers), and porn (It’s a shame that when it comes to entering the industry the door is no longer exit-only).
Despite what appears to be a dismal outlook on society, his seemingly constant state of dissatisfaction, or his general mode of being annoyed, one can’t help but see through the entire facade. You just get the sense that buried deep down beneath the exasperation beats the heart of a genuinely good guy – or at least the heart of someone doing his best to be good.
But then… another celebrity gets a free pass just because they’re a celebrity and another douche golfer throws a hissy fit and another homicide cop gives an interview that makes him sound crazier than the maniac he’s hunting and… well…
Seriously, can we just start punching people in the face again?