Neil Hamburger

50 States, 50 Laughs

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Where most comedians might relegate their lamest material to a tour-only limited-edition disc -- after all, once the funnyman leaves town, how do you ask for a refund? -- the great Neil Hamburger's stuffed 50 States, 50 Laughs with more than enough hilarity not just for all upstanding Americans but for those weasels living tax-free in Puerto Rico and Guam as well. No state is spared Hamburger's scathing wit as he tackles such hot-button topics as politics ("Why have there been more U.S. Presidents born in Ohio than any other state? Because the nearest abortionists were two states away!"), adultery ("In which state did my wife - er, ah, ex-wife, rather first have sex with the dentist to whom she is now engaged to be married? I don't know, but when I see her in the courtroom next month, Alaska!"), and the environment ("Have you ever looked in the trash can at a Long John Silvers? It's full of pieces of fish, each with exactly one bite taken out of it, and then all these napkins rolled up into little balls and in the center of each one is the corresponding piece of chewed-up fish!"). His take-no-prisoners approach offers uncommon insight into this melting pot we call home (those of us lucky enough to live here and not in some craphole like Canada, at least), but for all its rancor, 50 States, 50 Laughs is above all a love letter: Hamburger is the comic equivalent of Lee Greenwood -- he's proud to be an American. Amen, brother.