Ryan Stout - Touché (red/blue split vinyl)
There’s a lot to be said for shame. It keeps so many of our worst impulses at bay, and it elicits Ryan Stout’s favorite kind of laugh: the guilt laugh. On second thought, Stout may prefer the guilt laugh, but he more often elicits the nervous titter. Over the course of his 2011 record “Touché,” the audience learns a few of the comedians rules for a set: don’t get ahead of the joke, don’t expect any spoon-feeding (though you’ll get a couple of tries on a phonics joke), and learning to love hip hop, rock and roll, and pornography will help you enjoy the show. But they also learn to hold their breath, waiting for the moment Stout will so deftly take a genuine belly laugh and turn it into his fuel, using alchemy and wordplay to create that sought-after groan. If you like your comedy a little dark and a little uncomfortable in the vein of a Doug Stanhope or Rick Shapiro, a little dry and reflective in the vein of a Marc Maron, and a little socio-linguistic in the vein of a George Carlin, you might have found your man in award-winning comic and regular Chelsea Lately panelist Ryan Stout. Because some jokes aren’t just about back-door lovin’, they’re about language and urban planning.