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No Cure for Cancer

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Album Review

Boston-born comedian and actor Denis Leary released his first standup comedy album No Cure for Cancer in 1993. The chain-smoking, explosive Leary first gained notoriety with MTV commercials, but he certainly benefited from the popularity of Sam Kinison and Andrew Dice Clay in the late 1980s and early 1990s. No Cure for Cancer is wildly uneven. About 35 minutes of standup are sandwiched between four novelty songs. The best one, "A*****e," is a funny diatribe set to acoustic rhythm guitar. It achieved some success in a censored form, which robbed it of impact. Leary's barbed tongue tackles topics like drugs, smoking, meat, rock stars, death, and combinations thereof. Parts of the standup monologue don't work, and occasionally the deadly silence of the audience proves it. He starts rolling when he talks about sex, drugs, and music as they related to 1970s culture. In "Rehab," Leary complains about people blaming dysfunctional families for life's disappointments. In a poignant rebuttal, he argues that happiness comes in small doses: a cigarette, a chocolate-chip cookie, or a five-second orgasm. "More Drugs" is clearly the best bit. He laments the deaths of stellar musicians and complains about the superhuman durability of lesser talents. No Cure for Cancer's best line?: "Stevie Ray Vaughan is dead and we can't get Jon Bon Jovi on a helicopter." Ouch! Others singled out for praise or ridicule include John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Motley Crue, Barry Manilow, the Bee Gees, Andy Gibb, Judas Priest, Dan Fogelberg, James Taylor, the Black Crowes, the Doors, R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Elvis Presley, and Keith Richards. Leary gleefully punctures political correctness by praising smoking and wishing for throat cancer and a voice box on "Smoke" and honoring war-mongering, carnivorous men on "Meat."

Customer Reviews

Amazing for stealing material

I know some of you are young and think Mr. Leary is a good man, but I hate to tell you that he is a thief. This album is a ripoff of a great comedian named Bill Hicks. Bill was a friend of mine and would tell you the same thing if he wasn't DEAD. He died of pancreatic CANCER yet Mr. Leary continues to deny the truth about this record. Give a listen to Mr. Hicks first record if you want to hear a true comedy genius. Dennis how do you sleep? Your a coward and thief. google Dennis Leary and Bill Hicks...

Big Fat Dead Guy in a Bathtub

There are two things that without them, it wouldn’t seem like March, first are Shamrock Shakes, the other being Denis Leary’s No Cure for Cancer. The ultimate Irishman of my generation released the album during my formative years and me and my friends had the whole thing memorized for years to come. And you just have to play Traditional Irish Folk Song every St. Patrick’s Day. In fact the song was the inspiration on my answering machine my freshman year with the lines, We drink and we sing And we drink and we sing Hey! We drink and we drive And we puke and we drink Hey! We drink and we fight And we bleed and we cry Hey! We puke and we smoke And we drink and we die Hey! Then we finished things off with Leary’s “Thank you for calling. Thank you for calling” from the stand up portion of the album. I can also thank Leary for keeping me off drugs. After blaming his bell bottoms and other poor judgments on weed I knew I should stay away from the stuff. As Leary once said “never do a drug named after your own (expletive deleted).” Plus I also learned from him at an early age that the bet drugs are the legal ones. I always look forwards to cold season so I can start taking NyQuil and sing “NyQuil, NyQuil, Nyquil, we love you, you giant (expletive deleted) Q.” And I would never have learned about whippits had it not been for Leary. And thanks to his soliloquy on meat, I didn’t eat a salad until about three years ago. Even though he’s best known for drugs and smoking, I think the best part of the album was when he went on his musical diatribe: Explain it to me. Heavy Metal bands on trial because kids commit suicide? What's that about? Judas Priest on trial because “my kid bought the record, and listened to the lyrics .....” Well that's great! That sets a legal precedent. Does that mean I can sue Dan Folgerberg for making me into a (expletive deleted) in the mid-70's. Is that possible, huh? Huh?! "Your honor, between him and James Taylor, I didn't get a (expletive deleted) 'till I was 27 years old. I was in Colorado wearing hiking boots eating granola." But thanks to the uber-depressing grunge music, I typically change it to Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain while in Seattle wearing flannels shirts and drinking cappuccinos to fit my experience. And whenever election time rolls around and I debate on whether I should vote I think of two things Joe (expletive deleted) Walsh. So with St. Patrick’s Day quickly approaching, stop by McDonalds, pick up a Shamrock Shake and throw on some Leary and sing along to the Traditional Irish Folk Song.


Saw the live concert years ago, Leary STILL kills! Listen to this at your desk (earbuds of course) and your co-workers will wonder why you are crying in your seat laughing....better yet, listen on the sly during a "board meeting", promise you won't fall asleep. Leary is unapologetic for who he is (an A*****e), and want people to take reponsibility for who they are. LOCK and LOAD is great too.


Born: August 18, 1957 in Worcester, MA

Genre: Comedy

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The in-your-face comedian Denis Leary was born in Worcester, MA in 1957. While attending Boston's Emerson College, he became a charter member of the school's Comedy Workshop, and spent five years teaching at the institution following graduation. After gaining some success as a stand-up and writer, in 1990 he and his pregnant wife Ann traveled to London, where Leary was scheduled to perform for a BBC broadcast; while overseas, the couple's baby unexpectedly arrived, and a planned weekend trip became...
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No Cure for Cancer, Denis Leary
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