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Filed Under , on September 12th, 2018

Review: The Worst Kind of Thoughtful

By The Family Farce

“One-hundred percent Italian” stand-up comic Mike Vecchione hails from the Queens borough of New York City. While writing, rehearsing, and recording The Worst Kind of Thoughtful, his 2nd comedy album, we’re guessing he never gave a thought to how the awesomeness of his work would necessitate public transit policy updates in Portland, OR. Well, Mike, you’re doing the work of the people from nearly 3,000 miles away.

Don’t do pull-ups on the stabilizer bars; don’t lie down across four seats because you’ve just come off, or are in the middle of, an all-night binger; don’t full windup, open hand slap a grandmother because she took your seat–these are some of the more practical things that TriMet MAX  (Portland’s light-rail governing body) should write into the rules of ridership.

While the foregoing represented a list of behaviors that are liable to kick off a verbal spat, where your fellow riders classify you as some variety of piece-of-shit and put their fists behind it, a second category is owed consideration, where your fellow riders will just think you’re a piece-of-shit. At the top of this second list: don’t review comedy albums while riding MAX, because you’ll look like a bouncy, ADHD jackass who’s found the secret to human happiness (and/or is trying to suppress a fart) but has no intention of sharing with the rest of your pallid, zombie-ish, I-thought-weed-was-a-good-cologne-for-today smelly riders.

To be fair, that last sentence is exactly how we felt while reviewing The Worst Kind of Thoughtful. But there are worse things in life than throwing your spine out of alignment with bodily-contained laughter pressure. This was one of those pain versus gain moments that was every bit as poignant as a Mark Wahlberg movie, with a pay-it-forward motive at the end (in the form of this review), rather than a prison sentence.

Check out eight of the more fart-suppression-look-inducing, spine misalignment moments of Mike’s album:

1. On a family dog that used to bite him—“We had a dog when I was growing up, and this dog, he would bite me occasionally. He was just moody.” He told his parents. Their response: “‘We understand that, but your brother and your sister really like the dog. He’s part of our family now. We’re going to keep him.’” Mike asked if they planned to train the dog. Their response: “‘We do not have the money for that. Just be careful.’ So they started me on anti-anxiety medication.”

Best commercial for Zoloft we’ve ever heard.

2. On individualized education plans—Principle: “‘I usually don’t stop the observation, but that kid shouldn’t be sleeping. It’s inappropriate.’” Mike (a former school teacher): “Actually, Sir, it’s not, because he’s not being graded. His goal, however, is to not throw his desk through the window. So actually, he’s killing it right now.”

We feel this sentiment. While our Editor-in-Chief, Seth, isn’t personally connected to kids in need of individualized education plans, he does have a couple of drama queens and one sullen king. Parents, when your kids are snapping at each other like velociraptors, be grateful you’re not having to pay for a new window, new desk, and street cleanup.

3. On a tough love version of Life Alert for aging parents—“I’d like to get them a Life Alert like if they fall, it just plays music from the movie Rocky, and then shouts encouraging phrases from the movie.” Impression of Mickey Goldmill: “‘Get up, you Bum!’ Because that’s how I was raised, with a lot of tough love and encouraging phrases, but no actual help.”

Every day, Seth writes inspirational quotes on a chalk wall in his home. He does this hoping it will increase motivation in his kids and make his wife think twice before reaching for the Xanax at 8a. The results on the quotes’ effectiveness have been mixed. Now, though, after hearing this bit, he’s thinking of swapping out the inspirational quotes for angry movie dialogue that demands action. This could serve a dual purpose as an alarm clock notification on their phones. If anyone asks him why his kids raise their clenched fists to a fighting pose at the slightest provocation, he’ll blame it on Rocky.

4. On sexual permissions—“Police in Florida found a severed penis on the side of the road—with a condom on it. I’m like, wow, that guy was worried about the wrong things.”

mike v joke

Seth, played this bit for his 12-year-old, Will. Will laughed, but that wasn’t the point. The point was to parlay stand-up comedy into a sex education warning. Need an argument for abstinence? Have a look at this condom-wearing, severed penis. Still in the mood, kids? It’s all fun and games until someone gets their dick chopped off. Side note: we hear the market for chain mail dick guards is taking off.

5. On people starving in India, people who are always there for you, and full-service medical care—”News flash, everybody. Indian people have food. It’s called Indian food. If they’re starving, it’s because Indian food is too hot to eat. Have you ever had Indian food? Holy shit.” Later in the bit: “When some people hear these jokes they’re like, ‘Mike, are you racist against Indian people?’ I’m like absolutely not. I love Indian people, ’cause I live in Queens, and when it’s three-o-clock in the morning, and I need beer, cigarettes, beef jerky, and perhaps a scratch-off ticket, guess who’s there for me? I’ll give you a hint: it’s none of you white motherfuckers.” Then bringing it full circle: “After you’ve had the lifestyle for 20 years–beer, cigarettes, and beef jerky–and you need open-heart surgery, guess who walks into the room? Yeah, a fucking nice Dr. Patel. That’s what I love about Indians. They tear you down, but then they build you back up again.”

We aren’t huge fans of Indian food, either, having lost many afternoon working hours to extended stays in the office throne room. We do, however, subscribe to the tear-down-build-up theory, soon to appear as an MBA specialization track at Harvard.

6. On driving safety and in-car activities—Polling the audience: “Did any lady recently give their man a car blow job?” Audience responds. Mike: “Did that happen over here? Yes! Fucking nailed it. Great job. Dude, I wish I could raffle something off.” Drunk-sounding audience member slurs something about driving slowly, to which Mike responds: “You’re a guy who says safety first. That’s what I like. He didn’t turn down the blow job; he just drove more carefully. Fucking great dude.”

Best crowd work of the album. Seth’s conclusion after hearing this, he needs to have a chat with his wife about ways she can assist him with safe driving.

7. On cheap transportation alternatives—”If any of us needed an ambulance right now, it would cost nine to eleven-hundred dollars to get to the hospital. That’s true. That’s not for the hospital visit. That’s for the ride to the hospital. But if we called an Uber, it would be seven to twelve dollars, and the driver of the Uber is probably a doctor in Pakistan.”

Speaking from personal experience, this is scary and funny and true. Once again, comedy reveals the truth of life. Side note: if the Uber driver is a doctor, chances are he’s probably running a joint venture with Dr. Patel to capture the Indian restaurant-convenience store-Uber ride-emergency services-heart surgery revenue synergy. Harvard will offer this joint venture strategy as an elective.

8. On seasonal depression and thoughtfulness—Speaking of an ex: “She suffered from seasonal depression. You know who doesn’t want to hear about seasonal depression? People who were alive during the Great Depression.” Insert his grandfather: “I’m like, Grandpa, you’ve gotta meet my girlfriend. You guys have so much in common. You almost died because you didn’t have any bread, and she gets really sad when it’s cloudy out. You guys are like twins.” Switching back to ex: “We got into huge fights, ’cause at the time, I did not believe seasonal depression was real.” Her response: “‘You don’t think it’s real?’ I’m like, no, I don’t. I don’t think any disease is real that you can cure by moving to Florida. I’m like, if it is a real disease, what are the symptoms? She’s like, ‘Anger, irritability, not being able to get along with others.’ I’m like, wow, that sounds a lot like being a bitch.” But not all was lost, his ex did pay him a compliment. “She’s like, ‘Mike, you’re very smart.’ I’m like, let me correct you. I’m thoughtful. But not thoughtful in the sense that if you mention you like a piece of jewelry, I’ll buy it and surprise you on your birthday. I’m thoughtful in the sense that if you tell me you have seasonal depression, I can write a lot of jokes about it. I’m the worst kind of thoughtful.”

This last punchline got less of a laugh than it deserved, when accounting for its cleverness. Maybe the audience was too inebriated at this point to appreciate the craft it took to build to this bit-closer. Regardless, we liked it. We pride ourselves on culling material from the sleepily spoken comments of unsuspecting family members. What if these people choose to become monks or nuns? Without appearing in a joke on the page or the stage, the world would never know they existed. To these people, we say you’re welcome. Being “the worst kind of thoughtful” proved your existence.

Our recommendation: buy Mike Vecchione’s new album, The Worst Kind of Thoughtful. Innovative new methods to keep your kids abstinent, practical techniques for safe driving with your lady, and plane of existence proving for friends and family who are the subject of your jokes—there’s seemingly no end to the knowledge stream on this album.

If you listen aboard public transportation, and your spine misaligns from laughter suppression, have no fear.

Dr. Patel is accepting new patients.

Who: Mike Vecchione
Occupation: Comic
Location: New York City, NY
Album: The Worst Kind of Thoughtful
Market: iTunes, Amazon Music
Price: Under $10


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The Family Farce

About: The Family Farce
The mission of The Family Farce is to entertain through the production and distribution of snarky, irreverent, dark family-themed humor content. We produce and distribute said content from writers, stand-up comics, visual artists, and musicians in the following areas: Words–essays, interviews, fiction, columns; Music–parodies and original parental-advisory-esque works; Video–shorts, interviews, original stand-up; Art–comic strips, info graphics, photos, illustrations.

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