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At the Hungry I

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Album Review

Mort Sahl got his start at the Hungry i, and this album, mostly recorded at that club, shows Sahl doing what he does best: attacking anyone and everyone, from the president to Kruschev, from New Yorkers to the Germans. In fact, on both sides of the album he asks "Is there anyone I haven't offended?," and it's clear that he's out to barbecue all sacred cows. What this album isn't is a comedy album, and while there's certainly laughs to be had along the way, the album serves better as a history lesson, or at the very least an archival document of some of the bugaboos and touchstones of the time, whether it be the communist menace or the fantastic adventures of Eisenhower and Nixon. Those with little interest in history/politics will get lost fairly quickly.


Born: May 11, 1927 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Comedy

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '90s

Mort Sahl was arguably the most influential comedian of the postwar era; a provocative political satirist, he singlehandedly revolutionized the comedy medium to create an art form with a scope and impact far beyond mere slapstick and gags. Sahl's conversational, free-associative style -- an amalgam of anecdotes, one-liners, and pithy asides -- forever elevated the standup stage from its humble, toothless beginnings into a respected forum for eye-opening social commentary, and in the process opened...
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At the Hungry I, Mort Sahl
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