Comedy Album Review: On Effable, Guy Branum imbues observational humor with personal pain

In a recent New York Times editorial addressing the outrage (and counter-outrage) over fellow comic and Daily Show heir apparent Trevor Noah’s unearthed Twitter jokes, Guy Branum struck a welcome note of equanimity, expressing his solidarity with Noah on his very public spanking over some questionable material. While never bestowing a blanket blessing to Noah, Branum (best known from his stints as writer/performer on Chelsea Lately and Totally Biased) acknowledges both how difficult the process of writing comedy is, and how the ubiquity and indelibility of social media turns the necessarily messy and disaster-fraught creative process into a permanent record. In his first album, Effable, Branum engages a Los Angeles comedy club audience in a lively, challenging discussion of their shared experience of being flawed, hypocritical people. As Branum puts it in the midst of some stellar late-set crowd work with an insufficiently honest audience member, “Nobody here …

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