(L-R) Jim Gaffigan, Dave Chappelle, Sarah Silverman, Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin Hart
2018 GRAMMY Nominations: Best Comedy Album Roundup
The right joke can examine an uncomfortable truth in a palatable way, unpack difficult personal memories bringing the audience to a moment of shared catharsis, or sometimes just shake out a shock laugh with a surprisingly well-phrased observation on bodily functions.
The five Best Comedy Album nominees for the 60th GRAMMY Awards are based on standup specials from comics with decades of experience in making audiences laugh. Each is a masterclass in timing, delivery and comedic observation from artists at the top of their craft.
Take a closer listen at the brand of laughs offered by this year's nominees.
The Age Of Spin & Deep In The Heart Of Texas
A double-album comprising the legendary comedian, writer, and actor's first full-length comedy specials released in over 12 years, Dave Chappelle's The Age Of Spin & Deep In The Heart Of Texas, respectively, document the performer's views on "Making A Murder," a potential script idea for a Texan superhero, and the four times he met O.J. Simpson. In the month following the specials' dual release, Netflix revealed they were already the most-viewed standup performances ever hosted by the streaming video network. Chappelle's nod for The Age Of Spin & Deep In The Heart Of Texas represents his first GRAMMY nomination.
The fifth hour-long televised comedy special of Jim Gaffigan's career sees the inimitable funnyman tackle the anxieties of diving into binge-watching a brand-new TV show, alternative New Year's resolutions (pasta every day) and the occasionally superfluous nature of leather belts. There are also bits on mullets, why men don't change their clothes and the exhausting job of being a parent. Previously nominated for his stand-up specials Mr. Universe and Obsessed, Gaffigan is hoping his nomination for Cinco will be the proverbial third time's charm.
Jerry Before Seinfeld
Returning to New York's The Comic Strip — the nightclub where it all started for the stand-up and titular character of the Larry David co-created hit TV show "Seinfeld" — Jerry Before Seinfeld sees comedian Jerry Seinfeld regale an intimate club audience with tales of his comedy career's early days and the formative experiences that defined his unique outlook on life. Comprising everything from the performer's thoughts on raising children in the 1960s to his "one joke that worked," Jerry Before Seinfeld marks his third GRAMMY nomination.
A Speck Of Dust
Always one to find the quiet moments of existential crisis amid jokes built on shocking and sometimes gross "did she really say that?" moments, comedienne Sarah Silverman returns with her first comedy special following a serious health scare in 2016. She tackles subjects ranging from fun facts about squirrels, to people who talk to themselves while pretending they're talking to their pets, and whether or not laser hair removal is really important when we're all really just specks of dust on a rock floating in space. A Speck Of Dust is Silverman's third GRAMMY nomination.
Philadelphia-based comedian and movie star Kevin Hart documented what was possibly the largest comedy tour ever for his third theatrically released standup special What Now? — leading to the first GRAMMY nomination of his career. Wrapped around a short James Bond-themed mini-movie starring Hart and actress Halle Berry, the live performance segments showcase Hart's sold-out performance at his home town's Lincoln Financial Field, before a capacity crowd of nearly 70,000.
The 60th GRAMMY Awards will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York on Jan. 28, 2018, airing live on CBS from 7:30–11 p.m. ET/4:30–8 p.m. PT.