Jackie Kashian has been performing stand up comedy for a long time.
“I opened for Hester Prynne!” she says proudly (it may be the funniest literary joke written in recent years.)
In her many years at the mic, Kashian has gained a reputation for hot, uncensored nerdery–a description that we at Notes From The Conquistadork take to heart. Her audiences have fallen madly in love with her for this very reason, though she points out that her reciprocation to this nerdlust might just have to be a big hug. Regardless, the audience adores Kashian, and in return she has given us such gems as The Dork Forest Podcast and It’s Never Going To Be Bread.
With This Will Make An Excellent Horcrux (so named because, as she points out, it has part of her soul in it), Jackie Kashian continues to craft gags at the rate of a level 85 Tinker (hey nerds–remember Tinkers?) She riffs on video games and growing up an unrepentant bibliophile. But what has always been the most impressive thing about Jackie is her ability to hop between gags of both the bookish and more commonly relatable variety. While I am certain that she could set up a microphone in a comic book store and record two full hours of hilarious material centered entirely around Magic: The Gathering, D&D, and Aquaman (okay, maybe not Aquaman), she has never needed to pigeonhole herself into the niche esoterica of the modern-day nerd. Jackie Kashian is just too damn funny to do that.
Some of my favorite moments in Horcrux have absolutely zero to do with Jackie’s dorkiness, even if it still paints the way she tells a joke. Her time spent entertaining the troops in the Middle East and Africa comes to mind. Faced with such a daunting prospect, her friend advises her to look on the bright side, reminding her that she will be surrounded by hundreds of handsome young men.
“What am I going to do?” Kashian asks. “Tempt them into my tent with a bag of Snickers and finish raising them?”
Further down the line, Jackie opens up (albeit vaguely) about an unhappy sexual event in her past, and her husband’s idea to LARP her way through it with him–an idea that actually works. And while the absolute dearth of details on the specifics of said encounter can be a little bit distracting, ultimately that’s really none of our business, and the story ends on a funny and charmingly sweet note.
There is an argument to be made that we are in a new stand up comedy renaissance–that the new philosophers and thinkers of the age do it through a veneer of dirty jokes. I happen to believe this to be the case. And what a good thing to be a part of! Unfortunately, because of all that is out there, many great comics don’t get their due. And while Jackie Kashian is far from an unknown, it’s work like This Will Make An Excellent Horcrux that shows how criminally underrated she is. She is offering it exclusively through All Things Comedy (indeed–hers is their first full length comedy album offering), and for $5 it is an absolute steal. You really ought to buy this album here.
NEXT WEEK: Thoughts on the rotting film history of the undead with The Zombie Film and a review of South Park: The Stick Of Truth!!!