Smith is a burly, bearded dude (balding, too). In many ways, he resembles a disheveled Chris Pratt (TVs Parks & Recreation). His appearance is important, but its not because his unique brand of comedy is in any way physical.
Rather, its important because Smiths tactics are largely of a self-deprecating nature. And whats funnier than laughing at another persons misfortunes?
On Scootch, Smiths debut comedy album, he paints pictures with his words (kind of like a Picasso that has been out in the sun for too long), and he does so with a witty efficiency that doesnt require you to be there in person. This largely is what makes the album so successful.
Recorded live, Scootch album so weaves effortlessly through stories with oddly rewarding payoffs (his neighbor Durtys unfortunate demise) to Mitch Hedberg-esque liners (endearingly nerdy Star Wars jokes). But while most of its jokes are rehearsed, it also demonstrates his ability to improvise and interact with the audience, an essential element to any successful stand-up act.
There are other, less funny moments when Smith strays too far from his strengths. His impersonations, while admirable, failed to elicit anything more than a smirk, and there are a couple fleeting moments when he seems to be reading from a script instead of delivering in the moment. If anything, though, these hiccups demonstrate Smiths relative greenness, and with a little refining and an increased comfort level, hell be able to sustain the highs throughout the entirety of his set.
Smith is in prime form when he pokes fun at himself or others like him. The way he describes his modest liv- ing situation or his disdain for fat kids isnt all that dissimilar from Louis C.K. arguably the most successful comedian alive but hes also careful not to overplay his hand, never once coming off as pitiful or bludgeoning us with his anxieties. He keeps it jovial and unpredictable to just the proper degree.
In this sense, its evident that Smith has a clear understanding of what makes his sense of humor so unique and how to convey it to the average person.
This is something that cant be taught, yet its innate to him. When coupled with his range of influence and his quick-witted snark, Smiths natural ability is hilariously jolting, and so, too, is much of Scootch.
Scootch is available at robotsavescityacomedylabel.bandcamp.com.