David Cross: Shut Up, You Fucking Baby!

David Cross: Shut Up, You Fucking Baby!

A sense of barely controlled rage drives Shut Up, You Fucking Baby!, a double-disc stand-up CD from David Cross, the bald, Jewish half of the comedy team behind the cultishly adored HBO sketch-comedy series Mr. Show. A truth-teller in the noble tradition of Bill Hicks, Richard Pryor, and Lenny Bruce, Cross aims not just to entertain, but to challenge, provoke, and shake his audience out of its complacent stupor. Accordingly, his set often sounds like a rambling, impassioned, edgy marathon rant rather than a comedy routine, which is both its greatest strength and its most glaring weakness. Voice dripping with disdain for phonies, hypocrites, and corrupt authority figures, Cross directs most of his vitriol toward organized religion and the Bush administration, but he reserves plenty of hostility for the masses, whom he depicts as greedy, jingoistic, and ill-informed. Recorded during Cross' successful 2002 tour of rock clubs and released on a label better known for college rock than recorded comedy, Baby has the conversational tone of a late-night bender that veers off into unexpected political and philosophical terrain. Cross draws oceans of blood when savaging the hypocrisy of church and state, but he also has a weakness for glib nihilism and easy targets. He tends to define himself by what he hates—just about everything, it turns out—which leads to a few forgettable bits savaging such straw men as stupid rednecks, deluded Hollywood wannabes, and stridently zany morning-zoo DJs. Cross skewers sacred cows and easy targets with the same palpable disgust, and while he sometimes wastes his scorn on predictable topics, it's ultimately in the service of seeking out harsh truths. That makes Shut Up, You Fucking Baby! as urgent and outraged as a Noam Chomsky lecture, but infinitely more entertaining.

Filed Under: Comedy

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