Comedian Andres du Bouchet has delivered his debut album in conjunction with Rooftop Comedy Productions entitled Naked Trampoline Hamlet. Bouchet, a staff writer for Conan O’Brien since 2008, has a booming voice that fits his many personalities and alter egos on stage. His powerful persona can’t help but draw the listener in to laugh uproariously at the talent displayed. Bouchet’s comedy is not traditional stand-up. It’s more a compilation of characters, monologues, bits and general silliness.
Andres starts off his set as the fictional warm-up comedian (alter ego?) “Danny Yeah Yeah.” After an obnoxious two minutes of playing what he calls “The Yeah Yeah Game,” Andres uses the activity to set up a ridiculous quarrel with three members of the audience. After about seven minutes of hilarity, the crowd and listener are lightheaded with laughter and the show is underway.
In his second track entitled “About a Baker’s Dozen Jokes,” he makes anti-jokes, almost jokes in spite of themselves, each one getting odder than the one previous. The list includes knock-knock jokes (which are legitimately funny), familiar set-ups with different and sometimes shocking punch lines and jokes written by robots. One of his jokes is as follows:
“Knock, Knock,” he asks.
“Who’s There?” the audience responds.
“SHUT UP NERDS!”
The audience cracks up at this punch line recalling the earlier conversation that du Bouchet so carefully orchestrated in his opening track.
The title track (“Naked Trampoline Hamlet”) begins with a Laurence Oliver-esque monologue of Hamlet’s famous “To Be or Not To Be” speech. It then diverts into a ridiculous oral advertisement for his play entitled (what else?) “Naked Trampoline Hamlet.” Overly verbose and spoken with faux-elegance, it is here the listener gets a feel for what Bouchet is about as a comedian. He’s a one-hour variety show; a collage of TV rejected one-man sketches. He’s his own warm-up act, and his own agent. He creates his own audience and yet those in the crowd still genuinely laugh and enjoy him.
Andres is an engaging and very audience centered comic. A pure entertainer. He brings you in to the comedy club and makes you feel part of the small, intimate, profane cavalcade of oddball humor he performs. A master at fusing tension with absurdity, it is clearly understandable why this man is employed for one of the most enjoyable TV shows in late night. When asked about his particular style and form in a recent interview, Bouchet commented that he was actually terrified of being on stage. It was his strange voices and characters that hid his worries and anxieties about performing for an audience. Clearly it has worked out for him and, with respect to more traditional comedians, perhaps they are the ones to be terrified of Bouchet and his command of change for their old art form.