I knew when I first saw Hampton Yount on Conan that he was someone to watch out for. What made it difficult was that he was called Hampton Yount, so I wasn’t going to remember his name. But his bit about the risks of online dating of men vs women was so clever and witty that it always stuck with me. Hell, I even discussed the idea with friends over drinks. So when I got his full length album Bearable, I was curious to find out how Yount would work a long set.
Long is indeed the word here, because this album is simply loaded with bits of all kinds. I was truly impressed with Yount’s setting of his premises and in-depth exploration of ideas. His observations on being bullied for being gay, sex fetishes, and the aforementioned online dating are some of the most clever I’ve ever heard.
Unfortunately, Bearable suffers a little from Yount’s constant cackling at his own jokes and occasional pandering to his audience, which makes this performance come across a little nervous and unprepared. His reliance on pure rage as a punchline also feels cheap at times. It’s distracting and breaks up the momentum he’s trying to build. Nevertheless, Bearable still perseveres with sheer volume and the majority of Yount’s jokes are fresh and work remarkably well.
Bearable might be a rocky ride but its high points are expertly-crafted and memorable. Let’s keep watching Hampton Yount: his masterpiece is just around the corner.
Get it from AST.