Some more recommendations for great comedy albums on Spotify. This selection is compiled by Imogen Sebba of JokeBack Mountain.
From 2009, this catches the Amateur Transplants duo after they were riding high on the success of London Underground and before they went their separate ways, with Adam Kay going on to pursue a solo comedy career and Suman Biswas carrying on anaesthatising people. Every punchline is ingenious yet frustratingly simple: you’ll be racing to figure out every pun before they get there first. Warning: in some cases, this is a lot easier if you’re a qualified medical professional. In others, you may find yourself wishing you never have to set foot in a hospital and deal with a doctor ever again.
One of the best musical comedians around, this is the major album from the red-headed pile of opinions that is Tim Minchin. His rhymes and lyrics are just as playful as his use of the technical sound effects in this show – and it’s worth pointing out what a brilliant composer he is as well. A song like ‘The Good Book’ is as musically outstanding as it is hilarious and thought-provoking, and if you don’t cry a little bit at ‘White Wine In The Sun’, there’s a chance you may not have a soul. This album will either make you roar with laughter or reconsider your entire world view without you entirely realising it. Possibly both at once.
Whatever you do, do not lose concentration for even a second during this set. However intently you listen you probably won’t manage to spot how he manages to segue from beheading chickens to the Greek myths. It’s surreal but so self-assured, I was almost convinced that it was in fact possible to die by falling in a lump of gangrene. Izzard inhabits so completely every character’s voice that he introduces during his stand-up that you could at any moment be listening to Susan the Siren or the superhero Captain Transvestite. Hard work? You bet, but so worth it.
‘By the end of this song I will be dead’. So opens Sammy J’s album: it’s not true, thankfully, but a hell of a lot of equally unexpected stuff goes down in this album, including a song that makes the word ‘moist’ sound more disturbing than the word ‘fuck’, the reliving of 1999’s heady schooldays, and an epic love tale featuring an ugly mermaid. Observational, anecdotal and bizarre in equal measure with a varied, beautiful score, this is top quality comedy and only ever enhanced by music and rhymes. And I’d defy anyone to get to the end of the album and not be completely taken with this Skinny Man.
I defy you to find a sweatier, more gravelly-voiced man quoting lyrics from The Sound of Music. The ever-humble Helm’s album opens to chants of his own name. Does the man even know the meaning of the word ‘lull’? It’s doubtful. This is not one of for the faint of heart or ears – or even eyes, if you spend too long looking at the album. It’s an impressive album to say the least, and even more so when you consider that he does hour-long live shows with this much energy. Yikes.