Greg Behrendt

Greg Behrendt Is Uncool

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America isn't often introduced to cutting-edge standup comedy on Oprah, but that's the way Greg Behrendt came up, thanks to the daytime diva's love affair with the book he co-wrote, He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys. The two-million copies it sold and the face time Oprah gave him sure eclipse the exposure the minor standup success he experienced before the book, which makes it surprising that save an Oprah name-drop here and a book mention there, Greg Behrendt Is Uncool is entirely approachable and humble, with Behrendt sounding just like a hotshot, hungry comedian getting his first big break. Take the energetic Dane Cook and up the vocabulary and maturity a bit and you've got an idea of the Behrendt experience. Believe it or not, there's a hint of Spalding Gray, too, as Behrendt's domestic-angst stories flow like a hyped-up Gray monologue that's held together by a theme. Realizing you're not as young as you think influences most of Uncool, an album that's not so much about being a nerd as it is about being at that age where "cool" is impossible. At one point, Behrendt recounts the story of arguing with a retail workin' kid in a Death Cab for Cutie hoodie that covers a Phil Collins t-shirt. The kid attacks Behrendt for being sentimental about Duran Duran, but when the oldster attacks the youngster for his shirt, the kid's snide "yeah man, I'm wearing it as a joke!," becomes the crushing blow as youth's almost exclusive ownership of irony destroys all hope for middle age coolness. How to turn forty with two kids and a mortgage and still rock is explored, and the idea that concerts should start in time so you can get home to watch Lost is proposed. This album moves at breakneck speed and it's riveting, especially for anyone old enough to fear they're turning into their parents, but Uncool the CD is just an audio rip of the Uncool DVD, something obvious on "Air Guitar" and elsewhere where the audience is laughing at something visual. Uncool the CD is such a marvelous, exciting, and hilarious debut for Behrendt that you might as well splurge a little and go right for the DVD.

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