10,000 Laughs: Best Of The Boston Comedy FestivalAccording to the web site, The Boston Comedy Festival started in 2000 “as a way to showcase New England stand-up comedy talent to bigger audiences and the entertainment industry.” Now that the festival is in its eighth year, Koch Records is releasing a 2-disc album that includes over two hours of stand-up from the top 16 finalists from last year’s competition for viewers who saw it and loved it or comedy fans who happened to miss the actual event.

Though familiar themes crop up throughout, each comic has his own unique style and delivery that makes them stand out. George Bush, racism, The Bible, and the homeless are mentioned more than a few times, but each topic clearly provides countless opportunities for mockery. Self deprecation is also high on the list of comedian angles, but again, what’s more fun to laugh at than yourself?

Sixteen comedians are included in the 2-disc set, and though they each leave their own impression, some are just a little more memorable than others. Among the best are James P. Connolly discussing his high school escapades and his new car in his overly cocksure persona (sort of a cross between Steve Martin and Stephen Colbert). Tom Simmons’ bit about love in all religions is especially funny as is Mike Green’s breakdown of various siren sounds. Danny Bevins has a section about offending people that are easily offended that could be the best joke on the album, but Dan Boulger’s wry deadpan delivery of jokes about apathy and swearing too much manages to stand out in a field of cynics. It’s no surprise that he went on to win the festival.

For fans of stand-up comedy, this cd is the ideal purchase, considering that it includes more than a dozen completely different stand-up acts. Imagine 10,000 Laughs as a highlights reel from a competition of over 90 comedians. It’s as if the comedy festival organizers have gone out to countless comedy hotspots, sat through all the bad acts for you and picked only the ones that are sure to leave you laughing, or chuckling at the very least.

Zach’s Rating: B
Included standup’s rating: A
Unincluded standup’s rating: C

To purchase 10,000 Laughs (available 9/25), visit Amazon
For more information visit the Boston Comedy Festival homepage

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