Jerry Rocha: Take That, Real Dad
3 stars (out of 5)
In the race heavy stretches of Take That, Real Dad, Rocha has trouble getting traction. Familiar bits emerge, like the white guy scared of the black guy who then realizes he’s actually cool, the white audience member is in the Klan, a major motion picture has a racist theme. Regular ground is presented with talented voice impressions but lacks uniqueness. Throughout, many of Rocha’s off-hand references to race are not egregious enough to survive on shock alone, but he seems to expect them to.
This isn’t true across the board, as he gives a fantastic rendition of a redneck going all Salem witch trial on a magician, and generally gives the radical South an Appomattox Courthouse rivaling degradation. Yes, listen after listen his southern impressions (especially women) excel in hardy ignorance and absurdity.
Rocha leaves race for a while to discuss dates and doomsday theories, and while there may have been some predictability early in the set, you won’t expect what, or whom, a one-night stand neglected to provide a disclaimer for. Rocha is able to hyperbolize and exacerbate stereotypes of the sexes, a worthy and eternal channel for comics, but a sensation of cliché or over familiarity does surface again in his foray into unapologetic chauvinism, like with race.
For a comedian to traverse banal subjects and provide genuine energy and conflict is deserving of applause. Rocha does that. Comedy depends on exploring the basics of life, which is, day after day, a repetitive subject in itself. But since this is the zone where most comedy lives, there is only a hairline between familiar and new, between good and something more.
If a listener runs through multiple comedy albums in a week, Take That, Real Dad could respectably fill a spot in a queue, but harshly, if one is seeking the best of the year, Take That, Real Dad lacks something ineffable, a charm or force that would make it impossible to forego.