Don Tjernagel makes Bobby Slayton sound like an unmolested choirboy. Being a long-time fan of this comic, nothing fazes me aside from a first listen to his newest stand-up comedy DVD, X Rated. This most offensive, quick witted, and very smart comic is modest: there should be more than one X in the title.
This is a low-budget production with the usual lighting and filming issues that come with that. Usually, I’ll bitch about it. Not this time. The material is that strong. Hell, just the Peanuts wet dream bit is worth the price of this DVD
X-Rated opens with “It’s happy no baby day. My girlfriend had her period!” followed by allusions to Rorschach tests, red wings, Ed Norton in Twilight, the Detroit hockey team, and beef jerky. If you do not know what “red wings” means this stand-up comedy is not for you, at all.
What also makes Don Tjernagel special is the thought behind the bits. How many comics can put Miley Cyrus and Sharon Tate in the same three minute bit about losing your cherry in a segue from the opening routine?
This is a mostly quick paced show with shorter than usual routines. This works and in three minutes you get glow-in-the-dark condoms, the Incredible Hulk, Star Wars, Michael J. Fox, dildo races, and Jesse Owens. Only Tjernagel has the smarts to tie all this in 4 minutes.
Other, sometimes looser bits connect audience complaints, born-again Christians, Jesus, sex and violence, and, believe it or not, an alien autopsy. The next bit on stereotypes greatly benefits from Tjernagel’s wickedly dirty mindset.
The longer form routine on racism once again ties amazingly eclectic references together and manages to both make you laugh and think.
This stand-up comedy DVD is titled X-Rated: Other bits involve the Kennedys and why hookers are an endangered species in Massachusetts, a dyslexic oedipal complex, deaf people sex, anal and gerbils, retarded gardeners, bestiality pedophiles and necrophiliacs. It is just as weird after that.
The one faux moment on this stand-up comedy DVD is the bit about the Canadian girl. She sounds like she is from Minnesota. One bit that doesn’t work for me is the secret lives of small towns. It is a good set up but is like some of Tjernagel’s conquests; messy and not tight enough because there are no hot blonde chicks in New England. The show ends on a downturn but there you go.