Eugene Mirman is a stand-up comic who's got his cred in place. He's been on Conan, he's opened shows for bands like Modest Mouse and Yo La Tengo, blah blah blah. According to no less a comedy god than ex-Mr. Show star and recent Pitchforkmedia-new-asshole-tearer David Cross, this Mirman "knows what's funny and that's that...he certainly wishes you thought what he was doing was funny, but that's all right if you don't." Cross is being tongue-in-cheek here, jollying up his comedy brethren, but there's something to what he's saying. While Mirman's stuff isn't exactly esoteric, it does require a certain complicity on the part of the audience, a sort of suspension of perspective where the minutiae of Mirman's personality and observations must become as important to you as they are to him. And it's quite a funny conceit when it works. For example: At one point on The Absurd Nightclub Comedy of Eugene Mirman (Suicide Squeeze), the comedian expresses admiration for "sweet-ass cultures" with strange and distinctive customs. He then fantasizes a world where people would say stuff like "Eugene is a verrry naaatural people...and his way of saying 'thank you' is...to get drunk and not go to work." Now, this is hilarious -- if you're Eugene Mirman. The magical part is, when he's on and all the elements align just right, for that rare, fleeting moment, we are all Eugene Mirman. And there's nobody better to be.
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