Hot Dogs & Donuts
Oglio Records, 1998
REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/01/2001
Sometimes, it feels like I can write the exact same review for a certain artist's CDs... and sometimes, that isn't a bad thing.
Take comedian Jackie Martling, for example. I've reviewed two of his CDs in the past on "The Daily Vault," and each time I've basically said the same thing. His material is not meant for the younger crowd, but he's got elements of his act which everyone should find funny at some point.
I'm working in reverse release order on his CDs, but his 1998 effort Hot Dogs & Donuts continues this streak for Martling. You'll laugh at things you never expected to laugh at, catch yourself in embarassment... and find yourself repeating this scenario often over the course of over 70 minutes.
There are no sacred cows to Martling; everything and everyone is subject to his skewed view of the universe. (Wait, that's not entirely true; Martling admits early on he's not aiming jokes at the "motorcycle hoodlums". Smart boy.) If you're easily offended... well, chances are you're not listening to this disc in the first place, are you?
Martling invites any and all comers to take an irreverent ride through the dark side of comedy -- and more often than not, Martling hits the target with this collection of off-beat, off-color jokes. Having grown up on the Truly Tasteless Jokes books, I happen to love this kind of humor. Do I find everything Martling says funny? Honestly, no... but I still believe that's the way Martling has planned it all along. As I've said time and time again, I believe Martling structures his act so that you'll find yourself laughing at something. (I happen to like the Irish jokes - and being part Irish, I'm laughing just as hard.) Good grief -- he even sneaks in a clean joke or two... and they're just as funny.
Some people might claim I'm just sucking up to Martling in the hopes of getting mentioned on Howard Stern's show. (If this was the case, it hasn't happened yet.) Truth be told, I'd find Martling funny if he were a nobody just standing on the street corner spewing these for all to hear. I still find F. Jackie to be my favorite of Martling's releases, but this particular disc also ranks up there as being one I find hard to take out of the CD player.
Comedy isn't always safe -- and, frankly, it shouldn't be. On Hot Dogs & Donuts, Martling continues to push the envelope, and succeeds more often than he stumbles. He's brash, he's crude, he's tastless... and frankly, he damn well better never change.