Comedian Josh Gondelman is an eternal optimist.
In fact, he sees the world through rose-colored glasses and only expects to die, as his friend puts it, after falling “off a Ferris wheel trying to catch a falling star.”
That kind of jubilant, self-elevating humor prevails throughout the Massachusetts-born comic’s third comedy album, Dancing on a Weeknight. Gondelman is charming and intelligent, engaging with the focus of his material, and overall, just a joy to experience.
Before Dancing on a Weeknight, Gondelman spent five years writing and producing content for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, where he won two Peabodies, two WGA Awards, and three Emmys. In 2016, Gondelman made his late night stand-up debut on Conan, and performed on network television for the first time on Late Night With Seth Meyers.
When he is not doing stand-up, his musings find a home in prestigious publications such as the Boston Globe, the New York Times, and The New Yorker. His resume is impressive and without challenge; his talent is apparent; it was only a matter of time before he began his campaign to calmly conquer the world of stand-up comedy.
Gondelman’s uncanny ability to easily command a room is remarkable. He speaks softly but carries an immense comedic stick, putting a live audience at ease with delightful stories about his pug Bizzy, his 94-year-old great aunt and her “unbeatable swagger,” and the “second greatest moment” of his wedding.
While that may come off as unusual in an age where stand-ups act overly exuberant whenever they can, Gondelman’s out of the ordinary style is a perfectly executed and well received contrast to the norm.
In fact, listening to Gondelman talk about, as he puts it, his “great life” feels very much like the audio equivalent of a spa day trip. You are treated to a very soothing atmosphere created by a calm and collected professional who seeks to leave his client at a better place mentally, physically and spiritually by the end of the visit. He never raises his volume unnecessarily, never introduces stressful topics of conversation, and never deviates from his aim of being the most enthusiastically demure entertainer working today.
Josh Gondelman’s Dancing on a Weeknight serves as a great third outing for the writer-comedian, cementing his place as one of comedy’s newest and brightest stars, or as he puts it, as the industry’s “hipster Mr. Rogers.”
Josh Gondelman’s Dancing on a Weeknight is in stores now via Blonde Medicine Records.