Off Hour Rockers / Oglio Records, 1999
REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/24/2001
I've recently found myself listening to the works of Jackie "The Jokeman" Martling a lot. Partially, this is because his wife, musician Nancy Sirianni of The Scoldees, sent me some of Martling's CDs to review back in November. But since I listened to F. Jackie and wrote that review, I've found that listening to Martling's work is kind of like eating a certain brand of potato chips: you can't stop at just one.
Come Again? collects a bunch of Martling's jokes from a series of "Talking Joke Book" cassettes he put out some years ago (and were recorded throughout most of 1989). This collection proves that jokes - especially poking fun at sex and people's ethnic backgrounds - know no time boundaries, and this proves itself to be a very funny CD.
Martling's "joke book cassettes" ranged from "mild" (featuring jokes the kids could tell without getting their mouths washed out with soap) to "red hot" (in other words, Martling's normal act). Surprisingly, I didn't find too many jokes I would call "mild" on this CD - not that I'm complaining, mind you. And it's not that I expected "mild" jokes to be nothing more than banal "knock-knock" gags that I thought were kneeslappers in 1978.
But if anything about Come Again? pleasantly surprises me, it's that this disc is consistently good and funny. You honestly wouldn't expect that from a disc that pulls elements from six cassettes and numerous stand-up appearances. Yet Martling is able to deliver the goods on a consistent basis - and you might be embarrassed to find yourself laughing at some of these, as you wipe tears of laughter from your face.
Is everything on Come Again funny? Not to me, at least - but as I've said before, I think that Martling structures his act to include something a person would laugh at, meaning everyone would find their own centers of comedic perfection throughout the act. (Me? I happen to think it's hysterical when Martling does word-play jokes, then screams the obvious double-entendre off-mic to the mouth-breathers who didn't get it.)
Come Again? includes one musical performance - "Fool's Gold," a song Martling wrote many years ago and re-recorded for a film soundtrack. And while Martling isn't Bruce Springsteen, both the song and his performance aren't bad.
Come Again? isn't a disc to leave out for Junior to pop into his Mickey Mouse stereo, but as a collection of jokes for the adults (and, like me, immature grown-ups), this is one of Martling's best. A second collection has been promised; here's hoping it'll be out soon.
2001 Christopher Thelen and "The Daily Vault". All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Off Hour Rockers / Oglio Records, and is used for informational purposes only.