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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Josh Blue: “Sticky Change” (2013) CD/DVD Review

Josh Blue takes what would be personal disadvantages and turns them into comedy gold in his new two-disc CD/DVD set, Sticky Change. Recorded at Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, this special begins with him talking about being born in Africa, a place not known for its medical facilities. “Obviously when I was born, there were some complications and when I came out I was a comedian.”

Because he was born in Africa and now lives in the United States, “Technically that makes me African-American.” I love plays on that ridiculous term. I’ve long said that Charlize Theron is my favorite African-American actor. So Josh Blue is able to make a lot of jokes about that. “It’s awesome being African-American, especially a white one.”

Josh Blue also jokes about his own appearance, likening his look to that of a homeless person. The title of this release comes from his bit about cabs not picking him up: “What’s he going to pay with – sticky change?” He asks the audience for spare change. Someone throws flowers onto the stage, to which he shouts, “I said change, asshole,” and throws the flowers back. Others throw coins. He has a bit of trouble picking up the coins. Someone throws a dollar bill. “Oh, thank you. Yeah, these are much easier to pick up.” Josh Blue has cerebral palsy, and a lot of his comedy comes from that. And because of that, his routine is quite a bit different from that of other comedians. He certainly has his own perspective – something all comedians should have.

He also talks about his wife, who is Japanese. (We see shots of her in audience.) “I think it’s probably a good thing for both of us that she doesn’t understand everything that I say.” And about arguments with her, he says, “Honey, it’s not that I don’t care about you. It’s just that I don’t care about what you’re talking about.” Perfect. By the way, he says he married his wife on December 7th, which was her idea. Also perfect.

About raising children and child-proofing his home, he jokes about learning that you need a gate not only at the bottom of a staircase, but at the top too. “If you don’t have one at the top, the one at the bottom just acts like a strainer.” What a great image. I also absolutely love his bit about the airport. “I will scare the living shit out of a TSA worker. And they fucking deserve it.” Amen.

I appreciate running jokes, and Josh Blue has several that he returns to throughout his performance: being African-American, his disability, and needing spare change. Josh Blue is a comedian I wasn’t familiar with before this release, but it wasn’t long before I became a very big fan.

Sticky Change was released on May 21, 2013 through New Wave Dynamics.

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