Music » CD Reviews

David Cross

That's Not Funny (Sub Pop)


With the title of his new album, stand-up performer David Cross has a point. Abortion, Gulf War II, and Family Circus aren't inherently funny, but he successfully mines them for big laughs.

The balding, bespectacled Cross has been in the spotlight recently as the neurotic psychologist-cum-actor Tobias Funke on Fox's brilliant sitcom Arrested Development. He made a name for himself with the critically lauded HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show. One sketch from that show saw Cross fitted with an electric collar, controlled by a senator who was responsible for making sure that the subversive smartass didn't set foot on a stage. During the feel-good '90s, the piece seemed closer to shtick than satire; by 2004, it might have been ripped from the headlines, as most of this album is.

Recorded in January, the disc features more commentary than jokes, revealing that Cross's sets are edging toward uncut political invective. Mortified that proposed legislation sought to ban sodomy while leaving bestiality legal, he adopts a bellowing drawl, loudly raving about the pleasures of "legal Texas dog fucking" -- a bit worthy of George Carlin. And though Cross isn't quite in Carlin's league yet, he's getting there.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.