Kurt Braunohler

How Do I Land?

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Old-school comedy album fans will likely shout "Hallelujah!" while listening to the first track of comedian Kurt Braunohler's debut release. After asking the Portland audience "Is your main economy bucket drumming?" during the opening "Hello to the Future," the frequent Kristen Schaal collaborator and the Nerdist Network's secret weapon alerts the world that this is the rare, original comedy album rather that just being an audio rip of a television special, the de rigueur way in 2013. Braunohler's discussion of a 2045 listener checking out this particular comedy album is nostalgic and Isaac Asimov-ian at once, and bubbles over with the comedian's wit, quirk, and charm. Don't think he's just bespectacled, creamy, and cuddly, as "Ladies on a Plane" comes from deep in the land of wicked, being one of the most evil examples of "...inserting absurdity and stupidity into stranger's lives." Still, it's a hilarious bit, as is the title track where Braunohler explains the brilliant back-story of the album's title and cover, but the key cut here has to be "Sacha Baron Cohen," an epic slice-of-life story of Hollywood and how everything in show business can backfire (it begins Agent: "Do you speak German?," Braunohler: "I realize I look like the I.T. guy from the Nazis, but no, I don't," and then continues to roll downhill). Breast-feeding until the age of five ("That's some Game of Thrones sh*t!"), what to write in a four-year-old's birthday card ("Only one year to memories!"), and the crazy world of Tinkle Digest magazine (on the cover is "a giant elephant with a tiny bird on its back and an old Asian man in a boat, so, your guess is as good as mine") are other hot topics, all of them flitting by in an act that's quick and sharp, but not overly hectic. From its overall design, to its pacing, to its dirty, dirty details ("I've always had what I call a 'Tod Bod,' meaning, if you saw me naked, I'd look like a 6 foot 4 toddler"), this is a magnificent debut.

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