Social commentary has been a long running theme of stand-up comedy since the art form became a part of mainstream entertainment. I have quite a romanticized view of the stand-up comic as somebody who travels across the country, using humor to cut through the bullshit that engulfs our everyday lives. Because of this I enjoy any comedian who follows in the footsteps of Lenny Bruce and George Carlin as a person who doesn’t just tell jokes, but uses humor to expose hypocrisy within our society. Nato Green is indeed such a man.
As a founding member of the guerilla stand-up group known as Laugh Against the Machine, it’s not surprising that Mr. Green’s new album ‘The Nato Green Party’ attempts to use comedy as a means of “waking people up” to the issues that plague American culture. Throughout the course of the album Nato hilariously conveys his opinions on Occupy Wall Street, the status of the gay rights movement, and electoral politics. All of this material comes off as funny without sounding overwhelmingly preachy, which is a difficult task to accomplish when discussing ones views on the world.
What impressed me the most was that not only is Nato’s style smart and poignantly hilarious, he also isn’t afraid of dissecting and critiquing the political side in which he pledges his allegiance to. I think it’s safe to say that Nato is a liberal (which is putting it mildly) but the entire album isn’t just filled with criticisms about the right side of the political spectrum. He also takes a long hard look at his side as well provides a substantial amount of criticism concerning the Occupy movement and the Gay rights movement. Instead of coming across as just some bleeding heart liberal, Nato comes across as a smart and passionate dude who really believes in what he has to say.
The album itself is put together quite nicely. It was released through Rooftop Comedy so the production value is top notch. The album clocks in at just south of an hour but the way in which Nato crafts his jokes makes the time fly by. His conversationalist style pulls you in and makes you want to listen to him.
Stand up comedy does have a tendency to be left leaning. I don’t think anyone would deny that. However it’s quite refreshing to listen to a comedian who exposes the flaws of his own side rather than just bash the hell out of the other. The Nato Green Party is a wonderfully paced, smart and hilarious album that I enjoyed listening to immensely. You can pick that shit up at RooftopComedy.com.
About the Author: Born on a mountain top in Tennessee, Greenest state in the land of the free. Raised in the woods so's he knew every tree, Killed him a bear when he was only three. I also like stand up comedy. (OHHH that rhymed!) Also, follow me on twitter @LouMisiano1