Published Jan 27, 2020In the intro to his new comedy album, Moshe Kasher jokingly ranks himself among some of the great crowd work comedians, like Paula Poundstone and Don Rickles. Doing so, he makes a valid point, though: "The reason people think crowd work is lazy is because they've only seen lazy performers doing bad crowd work."
On Crowd Surfing Vol. 1, the audience does a lot of the heavy lifting, but it's still very much a Moshe Kasher album. Like a documentarian, he operates on the principle that everyone has a good story to tell, and his comedic sensibility shines in the way he guides these stories, interupting to punctuate tales of sex and drugs with hilarious off-the-cuff observations, instinctively knowing how to pull the most unbelivable details out of his amateur storytellers.
In many ways, it's a continuation of the work he as done with his wife, Natasha Leggero, on The Honeymoon Stand Up Special and its spinoff, The Endless Honeymoon Podcast. Where Leggero's empathy is often the sweet to Kasher's salty, this venture into crowd work feels like a solo record on which he's free to delve deeper and indulge in his caustic sense of humor.
Crowd Surfing Vol. 1 is a thrilling breath of fresh air in the landscape of standup specials. Throughout the LP, Kasher jokes about the lowbrow nature of his crowd's stories, but he demonstratively enjoys fishing for the proverbial laughs through the tears, ultimately revealing his wish for the future of his comedy: "I want it to get weirder!" (Comedy Dynamics)