Low energy, high number of laughs
Surprisingly, though Super Crazy is Barry's fourth stand-up album, it's just his first hour-long stand-up special. Part of that may be his stage presence. If the name of his second album, Medium Energy, wasn't enough of a sarcastic hint, Barry's delivery is low-key, like he's a few minutes away from a nice nap or a few minutes after a nice injection of heroin. Everything comes out a nice gentle, non-abrasive level, whether he's talking about updating the software on his Blackberry, breaking out of a Belgian prison or aggressive prostitutes in Barcelona. This kind of performance forces you to really pay attention, as there are no rhythms or verbal cues to the jokes, just a continuous stream of set-ups and punchlines (again, possibly part of what may be keeping him from stardom. More yelling=more money.)
Shot at the Gramercy in New York City in December of 2011, the special showcases Barry's stream of consciousness style, which he utilizes smoothly, segueing from joke to joke in a seemingly effortless manner, even if there's no connective tissue available. He doesn't linger too long on a topic (even if he does note that he's America's number-one topical comic) moving quickly from a story about a promotional appearance on a North Dakota radio station to the financial windfalls in stand-up comedy to a bit about meeting better English speakers in Sweden. Though many of his jokes emerge from his experiences as a professional comic, the ideas are universal, covering restaurants, real estate, online critics and pedophiles in Thailand.
Extremely sarcastic and self-deprecating, Barry's sedate way of performing makes his jokes and observations even more enjoyable. His segment on airport food, and the sad Twitter responses of the Kansas City airport are enhanced by his delivery, while his meta observances on his performances and his interactions with the crowd seem sharper by a lack of audible, emotional punctuation. When you've got a guy telling you he smells terrible thanks to Tom's of Maine or questioning an audience member on their impromptu choice of word, and he's doing it in the measured cadence of a serial killer on the edge of madness, you're probably going to laugh. That he's actually funny doesn't hurt.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track offers up a standard stand-up presentation, presenting Barry's comedy clearly, with good separation from the audience's reactions. There's nothing dynamic about the mix, but it's all nice and clean.
The other extra is the full clip from Barry's spot on The New York Friar's Club Roast of Chevy Chase. Though he doesn't fire many shots at Chase, saving his best hits for the celebrities who gathered for the roast, there's something about his barbs delivered in his understated style, that makes them sting a little bit more.
The Bottom Line