Standup comedian Christian Finnegan came up through the very happening New York City "indie" comic scene, but his style is more traditional and influenced by the comedy albums of his youth. He stumbled into the N.Y.C. scene while attending NYU as an acting student. While he liked acting, he didn't like the auditions and networking involved, so he switched his major to playwriting. Problem was, he also lacked the discipline for writing, but he still craved a creative outlet. Remembering the Steve Martin and Woody Allen albums he loved way back when, Finnegan fell into standup, working with improv and other groups that did "weirdo stuff" at first. He later realized he was a more traditional comedian and began playing to his strengths. Things started moving in the right direction, and in 2001 he appeared on the Comedy Central cable network's Premium Blend. A year later he was writing for the television show Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn while keeping a busy standup schedule. His big break came in 2004 when he became a panelist on VH1's Best Week Ever, a weekly, smarmy look at pop culture. The show was an instant hit and soon Finnegan was appearing on Chappelle's Show and Shorties Watchin' Shorties. He landed a reoccurring gig on The Today Show and in 2005 was featured on his own Comedy Central Presents special. Finnegan used the special as an opportunity to break free of any Best Week Ever typecasting. He continued to prove he could do a lot more than just be snide about celebrities with his debut CD, Two for Flinching, which was released by the Comedy Central record label in 2006.
© David Jeffries /TiVo
© David Jeffries /TiVo
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Humour - Released October 24, 2006 | Comedy Central
Yes, he's well aware he looks like Biff from Back to the Future, and he's fine with that. It doesn't bother him at all, but what does bother Christian Finnegan is that most folks think of him as a snide, sniping panelist on VH1's Best Week Ever and not a versatile standup comedian. His debut CD, Two for Flinching, is a first step towards standup stardom, but the uncomfortably slow start and the uneven pacing throughout suggest the Best Week Ever is still his best showcase. He's funny but unpolished, and there's as much hackneyed material here as there is at your local comedy club's open mic night. There's the "Taco Bell sounds like a good idea when you're drunk at 3 in the morning, but when you get up the next day...." shtick and he actually begins some routines with "Did you ever notice" as if Seinfeld and all the Seinfeld impressions that followed never happened. Still, Finnegan's traditional style is a breath of fresh air in the era of the "indie" comic, and his best material holds plenty of promise. Making fun of fonts isn't something just anybody could pull off and "High Dance Threshold" is a killer rant on every genre of music Finnegan dislikes. Fans of his work on Best Week Ever get to see another side to the man and there are enough laughs here to call the CD serviceable, but he's still that guy from that show, at least for now. © David Jeffries /TiVo