When constructing your style as a stand-up comedian you have to be sure to include a glaring sheen that gets you noticed (oh God the bad puns are already starting). Derek Sheen not only recites a recipe for buttermilk biscuits within his stand-up routine on Holy Drivel, but he also constructs a comedy hour that’s a bigger guilty pleasure than arteries stuffed with butter and cookie dough.
First you want to construct your main ingredients. A good bedrock of comedy is comedy at your own expense. Luckily, Derek Sheen lets us know that he’s a 5’3” butterball on multiple occasions and stirs this in quickly. Strewn across the album are awkward stories of sex with his wife where he admits to being too fat to do certain positions as well as a none-to-flattering nickname for his penis. Another main ingredient is to be topical. A great example of this is the discussion of the legality of gay marriage. He tells a story of when he saw an old man being interviewed telling the reporter, “Just the thought of two men making love makes me sick to my stomach.”
He responds with, “Nobody made you think about that…do you not get that that’s your brain making those thoughts? The calls are coming from inside the house!” Note well, though not a main ingredient, the spice of pop-culture horror movie references is well placed.Speaking of extra ingredients you always want to have a little bit of originality. One of his bits is on the differences between Portland and Seattle. It’s all pretty well summed up by the oddity in a particular Portland attraction. A Vegan Strip club. As Derek says, “That’s Portland in a fucking nutshell.”
Another extra spice that Sheen encounters is Chattanooga, or as he calls it, “the Detroit of the South.” Amid hard times and boarded up businesses, there’s only one demographic that can keep the local bar in business according to the bartender: Friday nights. But not just any Friday nights. Lesbian Friday nights. Or as Derek Sheen mockingly envisions them, “9 foot tall monster dykes!”
And then there are the ingredients you want to avoid. Not so much in a comedy album sense, but in a practical life sense. Number one: Transitioning from Lesbian Friday nights Derek tells us that while gay garage sales are great, lesbian garage sales tend to be littered with the phrase, “Wow that is a giant box of wolf shirts!”
Number two comes off of Derek’s day at Disneyland as a grown man. The whole experience can be ruined by “It’s a Small World After All.” And not just the cheesy ride with the river of “child blood.” But also avoid singing the song. Particularly, as he notes, when trying to spice things up in the bedroom. Finally to top it all off: some fucking mind-blowing cover art for your album. I’m talking obese blue monsters with chains and cartoon damsels in distress. Get some apocalyptic clouds going and a mountain range that looks like Disney’s Mordor and you have yourself Derek Sheen’s Holy Drivel. You can buy the album at RooftopComedy.Com and iTunes.
About the Author: Nate Rankin writes Comedy Reviews and Fiction because no one taught him any better. His fiction has been featured by Workers Writes, theNewerYork! and Used Gravitrons and is forthcoming in The Green Blotter. His work can be seen here: http://iamseamus.tumblr.com/writing You can find him on the Tweety Box @CommanderSeamus If you'd like to submit a review inquiry please send to nrankin22[at]gmail[dot]com