It’s taken a year and a half to make its way to the surface, but Alex Edelman’s debut stand-up album is finally here, and even as a self-proclaimed harsh critic of his own work, he isn’t going to deny the fact that he’s really happy with how the end product turned out.
With the release of Until Now, which dropped late last week on 800 Pound Gorilla Records, Edelman brings what he feels is his best stuff to the table, even after trimming some of his favorite bits for the sake of fluidity. He mixes both his well-seasoned throughline-based, solo show approach that he honed during his extensive work in the UK with the joke-heavy approach he learned when he started doing stand-up in high school in the states to deliver a full-fledged experience of not only his comedic voice, but also a deeper journey into the mind of an aging millennial.
While the jokes may be new to us, Edelman’s extensive work on his own thematic solo shows over the last few years had put his club-centered joke writing on hold in many ways, so this album serves as a bit of a time capsule in Edelman’s comedy journey, as he had to dig as far as 10 years into the bank to piece together a cohesive body of work that he feels meshes well with the new material he’d worked on in clubs all over the country.
“It’s something I’m so proud of,” Edelman tells Vanyaland. “Some are my favorite jokes from my solo shows, and a bunch of new ones that I feel are on par with them that felt thematically tied into each other. I’m really pleased with it. It’s a very ‘me’ album, while also being like the stand-up albums I listened to when I was young.”
Citing the joke-heavy approach of stand-up all-stars like Brian Regan, Sarah Silverman and the Sklar Brothers, as well as his comedy club roots, Edelman made the conscious decision, while employing aspects of both his solo shows and his joke-heavy shows, to make this album feel as close to a true “comedy club album” as he possibly could. While he admits that his past experience of putting shows together (and the understanding approach of 800 Pound Gorilla Records) made for a fairly stress-free experience during the recording process, the Brookline native still worked diligently in not only shaping this slate of material into its finest form, but also getting reacquainted with some of his oldest jokes.
“I was very careful about what I did and how I was going to do it,” says Edelman. “I had to revisit jokes, some of which I hadn’t done in five years, so I had to listen back to a lot of old material and rediscover this love of some old material, so a lot of these are older promises with newer jokes. There’s one joke in particular that has an old premise, but the coat of paint on it is super new.”
In some ways, this album has been in the making for the entirety of Edelman’s career, and he’s very happy with how each piece fits into the puzzle. He feels it gives listeners an opportunity to really see who he is as a comedian, as well as what the jokes mean to him on a personal level. With what he considers to be his most “killer” jokes on full display, he’s hoping that this is just the first of many more albums to come.
“I want people to enjoy an album that is as stress-free and joke-heavy as the Regan-like albums I loved when I was a kid,” says Edelman. “But I don’t want to lose the sense of communicating material the way I do in my solo shows. I want people to enjoy it, but also really get a sense of how personal I find these jokes to be, either in their content or how my sense of humor stands on them. I want people to laugh, but also get a sense of my favorite jokes, and maybe why they’re my favorites.”