The progression stand-up comedy has taken over the years has brought the quality of humor down and to places it never belonged, making a clean comedian a rare find. In fact, we are likely to find Willie Wonka's 'Golden Ticket' in a Reader's Digest Magazine before finding a good, wholesome comedian, let alone a funny one. Christian comedy isn't a broad or successful market, and few of the comics available are really all that entertaining. So when a genuinely funny and family-friendly comic is found, it's worthy of note. That pretty much sums up the discovery of comedian Brad Stine.
Brad Stine is no rookie to comedy. Having toured the circuit for many years and played to all kinds of crowds, it seems that Stine is at the peak of his comedic talent today. His 2003 DVD Put A Helmet On! can easily be described as one of the funniest videos you could find on Christian bookstore shelves. His unashamed conservative beliefs permeate his honest and abrasive performances. Displaying an edge like a profane-free Denis Leary mixed with the goofy animations and speed of bigwig Robin Williams or legend Jerry Lewis, Stine possesses a style that stands out. He draws much of his comedy from observation, with hints of Seinfeld inspiration, but a Christian and pro-American theme runs strongly throughout his stand-up bits.
Tolerate This!, his latest project, sees Stine tackling touchy subjects like the separation of church and state and gender roles, while joking about much lighter topics like ordering from a fast food restaurant and the fear of spiders. While stand-up comedy always loses something in translation to an audio recording without the aid of the comedian's visual humor, Stine's vocal delivery and choice of topics make up for what's missed. By the close of Tolerate This!, Stine has worked sensitive political and moral issues, bound together with a Christian background, to create one genuinely funny and thought-provoking hour of comedy.
While other good comics exist in the Christian market, few do it as effectively as Brad Stine. His ability to be bold and confrontational to an often uptight community is indeed a breath of fresh air. I don't really think I can recommend Brad Stine's comedy enough!- Review date: 8/4/05, written by John DiBiase
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