The Worst Is Over” is Ray Harrington’s first stand-up CD. And it shouldn’t be this good. Seriously, we know how to pick great comics (it’s sort of our job), but this isn’t about us. It’s about a relatively green comic with an uncanny confidence and stride, a man who has the maturity and stage presence of a true veteran, but right out of the gate.
Recorded live in Portland, Maine, “The Worst Is Over” shows Harrington at his best. In this easy, masterful performance, Harrington’s so deft you can’t tell if he’s riffing and this is just funny, off-the-cuff or banter with the audience or if, like a freestyle rapper, he has a lovingly crafted, tattered notebook of comebacks and asides ready to call up at just the right moment. As it turns out, it doesn’t matter. The deployment is so perfectly timed, the flow of the show so carefully curated, the audience can simply sit back and enjoy. While Harrington trusts listeners to get themselves to the joke every now and then (as with a certain “Piso Mojado” reference), he can, as easily, toss off a rapid-fire series of straight-up quips (“We were in Nebraska—real state…”) and, at the same time, indulge in an ever-weirder series of third-wall-breaking ridiculousness: “There’s a seagull! I worried he might not get my invitation!” “You don’t have to get together and wear hats to get dick.” “There was a moment there where I thought this was gonna be Rudy.” “Good news, guys! You don’t have to buy the CD when it comes out… you can just hear it at the trial.”
That last part? Not true… lucky for all of us, Harrington survived, and now you can pick up “The Worst Is Over” from Stand Up! Records.