By Rob van Alstyne
By Zach McCormick
By Emily Eveland
By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
The comedy album is a funny thing. It's the aural equivalent of a one-night stand: You want to hit it and quit it. Sure, you might desperately revisit it a few times for cheap thrills, but that's about as far as it's going to go. Imagine being stuck on a desert island with your top five comedy albums: You'd want to ram a coconut into your skull.
That said, there are far worse ways to pass 36 minutes and 51 seconds than by listening to the eminently likable Jimmy Fallon lampoon all things collegiate, like shower baskets, tiny refrigerators with their even tinier freezers ("It just, like, grows frost!"), ill-advised roommate choices, and fake IDs. On The Bathroom Wall, the debut album from the SNL cast member and It Boy, Fallon proves himself to be a deft comedy writer with a unique voice--even if he's using it to impersonate Dexy's Midnight Runners, Jerry Seinfeld, Barbarino-era Travolta, and Adam Sandler.
About half the album finds Fallon doing standup: The material was culled from a performance at Boston's Northeastern University and features semi-cool, semi-jarring DJ scratching between sketches. Fallon sings and plays guitar on goofy novelty songs that make up the other half of the album. The songs vary stylistically, from the smooth R&B soul of "Idiot Boyfriend" ("I know what you want/And I know what you need/And I'm gonna screw it up/'Cause I'm an idiot/And I'm your boyfriend"); to the podunk twanging country of "Drinking in the Woods" ("Puke by a tree/Pee in the grass/Get poison ivy all over your ass/You're in the woods); to the aggro punk of "Snowball" and "Road Rage." And then there's the side-splitting Beastie Boys-style confessional "(I Can't Play) Basketball," wherein Fallon raps: "I'm not Corey Feldman/I'm not Corey Haim/I got a license to drive/But I ain't got game."
The song makes you reconsider the comedy album one-night stand: The Bathroom Wall is definitely worthy of a repeated booty call.