Christopher Titus: Love Is Evol
February 14, 2009

This new stand-up comedy special covers dating, marriage, and divorce. You’ll get a good idea of the mood from the opening joke, which compares love to wanting to kill yourself and divorce to murder.

It’s difficult, for anyone who loved Christopher Titus’ previous work, to hear about how terrible his ex and his divorce (after 15 years of marriage) were, since his sitcom and his other specials talk about how that “good woman” helped him learn how there could be a different way of life from the womanizing of his father.

Christopher Titus: Love Is Evol cover
Christopher Titus: Love Is Evol
Buy this DVD

But the subject clearly gives him energy and drive, which any comic needs. And since it’s his story, only he can tell it… although plenty of viewers can empathize with crazy in-laws and relationships gone bad. The problem is that bitter isn’t funny. It’s a fine line between poking fun at what you hope are universal experiences and getting back at someone who hurt you in public, where they can’t respond.

When I was thinking this, though, Titus started yelling at the audience for being a bunch of whores when he talks about his ex getting new boobs for a 60-year-old guy with $20 million, which was funny.

Some of this material will be familiar to his fans, although the jokes are new. He again revisits his father’s predilection for crazy-hot women, for example. On the other hand, his previous two specials — Norman Rockwell Is Bleeding and The 5th Annual End of the World Tour — are only available on CD, not DVD, so it’s not horrible that he covers some of the same ground. And I don’t recall him talking about his dad’s National Guard service before.

Also new and memorable were the bits about mall jealousy and pointing out attractive people to your partner. KC and I had a discussion about Titus’ principle that “Crazy knows they’re crazy.” KC thinks that good crazy is self-recognizing, but bad crazy, not so much. Titus goes on to say:

“I know who I am. I am just a very thin layer of charming with some funny sprinkles wrapped around a huge creamy center of raging arrogant a-hole. I got it.”

“He’s an idiot but amazingly self-aware.” (That’s the recurring voice of his “inner retard”, an approach that may offend some.)

And he’s right, he is. Which is what makes my expectations for his humor so much higher than I have for other comics. They weren’t fully met by this special, but maybe that’s because I believe in love, and I like Valentine’s Day.

There are some very powerful sequences when he gets down to emotional truth, like talking about suicide, and I respect him for being willing to show us that, but they have to balance out the ex-wife jokes that seemed overly familiar. Advice about the woman having to stay as thin as she was when they were dating isn’t funny, let alone insightful. (Try stupid, simplistic, and overly reductionist.) That it led into jokes about dating a younger woman shouldn’t have surprised me. But then, that led into another realistic story about her family vetting him. Every time I felt like giving up, there was another one of these glimpses that made viewing worthwhile.

I advise not watching this with a significant other, because when he starts in on “things women need to know about men”, someone will be tempted to ask the other person, “do you agree with that?” and that conversation cannot end well. Then again, he’s right about capri pants.

Overall, some of it will cause you to think “TMI! TMI!” while some of it is fresh and worth watching. The second half, about the supermodel he’s now dating, is stronger than the first, or maybe it just seems better after the predictable material it follows. “I’ve found a beautiful, smart woman I’m happy with” is a message that some can relate to, although after the bitter anger of the first half, it’s hard to avoid thinking, “how long is this one going to last?” I do wonder why the slant of the marketing for this effort revolved around the negative message of “love sucks” — perhaps that’s an easier sell to the Comedy Central audience than “happy supermodel ending”.

The DVD is out on February 17, with some special features: video from the photo shoot for the cover; interviews about love with fans; and 14 short clips counting down to Valentine’s Day (that have also been running on Comedy Central’s website). Watch the special on Comedy Central tonight at 10 PM ET/PT. (A complimentary copy for this review was provided by the studio.)

20 Responses  
Thom writes:  

Yeah. I like biting and sarcastic humor-but when it crosses into bitterness, it becomes less “truth telling” and more…well, sad. Truth be told, I just stopped finding George Carlin funny sometime in the mid-ninties. He went from being someone challenging the societal structure to sounding like a guy who knew he “lost the war and was never going to get over it and move forward.” I didn’t find it funny, I just found it depressing.

I say this as someone who enjoys comics like Lewis Black and Bill Hicks.

KM writes:  

While there were parts of this that did make me laugh out loud, I was also filled with an overwhelming sense of sadness as I watched it. This man is so obviously damaged, as a result of a terrible childhood and a truly warped idea of love. If his marriage was truly as toxic and abusive as he describes, then he’s just repeating what he saw growing up. Certainly he’s going to repeat that pattern again, as as you said, I wonder how long he’ll stay in his current relationship, and if he’s even being honest about the nature of the current one. He wasn’t honest with us about the last one, was he? Oh, and I’m not impressed with his assertion that he’s hit the jackpot because he’s now got a model who “paid for her own boob job.” (He threw in the fact that she has two degrees just to appear less shallow, I’m thinking.) Hooray for you, Christopher. Maybe living in California your whole life makes you think a woman with fake breasts is a prize. Not in my part of the world.

Bitter, bitter, bitter, angry, angry, angry. The whole thing struck me as a pathetic juvenile, desperately hoping that his ex-wife would be listening, and unable to respond.

Johanna writes:  

I was disappointed, but I wasn’t quite that disappointed. I think he tells the truth as he sees it, and that perspective changes as you discover things about other people.

I did wind up rewatching his 5th Annual End of the Year Concert after this, and I liked it better. It was more time-based, relating to the events of 2001, but I liked the way he talked about relating to his kids and the kind of world he wanted for them.

Gill writes:  

You are all retarded. To me this is his best work. I’ve been in a relationship for 4 yrs with a woman that has gone sour after the 1st 10 months and somehow i think things are well “this will pass, its only a stage” now i see it as “omg get me outta here shes killing me from the inside out!” I can understand if u havnt felt this way like titus has or me but it wasn’t dissappointing to me i couldnt stop laughing because it reminded of me and my life, the one that disfunctional people live

Johanna writes:  

I’m glad you can relate and found it funny, but I would find your opinion more compelling if you didn’t feel the need to start it off by insulting others in such an unintelligent way.

Blkshadow writes:  

I think you all need to lighten up just a bit. We have all had “bad” relationships and it is quite humorous is listen to someone talk about there past and make a bad situation humorous. I agree with Gill as far as this being his best work yet. I have not laughed that hard at a stand up routine in a long time. The comments i have read about it crossing the line make no sense what so ever. what planet do you live on. have you never listened to a joke that crosses the line. That is Comedey people. Bottom line is I say congrats to Christopher titus on his new found love and happines and thank you for making me laugh. To the others on here I think everyone needs to lighted up just a bit and take it for face value and stop this indepth discussion on this.

Andy writes:  

I’ve always thought Christopher Titus was funny because I can relate to alot of family stuff he talks about. Some folks tell me ‘He’s not funny. He’s just crude.’ which is a LIE. If you can’t handle people who will tell it like it is, you got no business watching stand-up comedy. In this DVD he goes one step further by telling how he was concieved in the eyes of his father. Funny stuff. ‘Son, you were concieved during revenge sex.’ who else could come up with that? After watching this I asked a buddy of mine what the worst thing his parents said to him was. He turned to me and said ‘My Mom told me I survived the abortion.’ He wasn’t phased by it in the least because that kind of stuff happens all the time. Titus, keep doing what you’re doing and don’t listen to these stuck-up people who can’t take a joke.

Renee writes:  

As a long-time fan, I was disappointed that Chris would talk about the mother of his children like this. How could he not realize some of his fans wouldn’t like it after he made his marriage such a big part of his stand-up and tv show?

Logan writes:  

I definitely disagree with the person who said that this special was pathetic and juvenile, because it isn’t. Sure, he’s only telling his side of the story, and we don’t get to hear her side, but once he said the bit about her accusing him of beating her for the entire length of the marriage, I have to admit, I was on his side. And of course he’s going to be a bit angry. It’s his first special, and he’s STILL in the middle of the divorce. If you don’t expect a bit of bitterness, especially considering the fact that its called ‘Love is Evol’, then you’re just naive. I thought it was hilarious, and, yes, at times bitter, but he still managed to be funny throughout most of it. And that part when he’s reenacting his almost-suicide… man was that tense. But it didn’t hamper my enjoyment of it. I think he was trying to send his wife a message, like “hey, you broke my heart”. I mean, I think he has more of a right to be bitter than him. She cheated on HIM, after all, and used HIS money to get a boob job. Oh, and by the way, when he was talking about his new girlfriend and said “she already paid for her own boob-job”, I don’t think he was being shallow at all. He was just pointing out the fact that he doesn’t have to worry about her using his money for one.

Logan writes:  

Wait, I meant to say “his first special since the divorce”

Death: The Last Chance for a Laugh « Some Assembly Required writes:  

[…] he jumped off into the abyss. The other comedy album is the latest from Christopher Titus entitled Love is Evol. It mainly focuses on his divorce. The material he admits “…will fix your relationship. Or […]

Matthew writes:  

There has always been a division in the audience, people who just can’t relate to the situations he talks about find him rude, stepping over the line, and pathetic. People who have had just enough dysfunction in their life to actually understand what he’s talking about find it hilarious. It also helps that he has a healthy contempt for ‘Normal People’ Have fun in front of the fan. :)

Johanna writes:  

I’m not sure that’s accurate. I couldn’t relate in any way to his earlier material (I’m a child of a scarily normal nuclear family), but I found it hilarious. This current stuff, though, just wasn’t as funny to me even though I could relate a little better.

If I had to attribute a reason, it would be similar to the way bands have a “sophomore album jinx” — the stuff you’ve spent years refining until you break through is, of course, much better than the stuff you don’t have as much time to polish.

BloodLust writes:  

What a Man, huh?!…
Well I just saw this show like one week ago… and I was thinking, man I’m not alone… I too, come from a dysfunctional family, and I dont want to follow my father steps… so I can relate a lot with CT (my mom and sister are on medication, o.O ), also Im in the middle of a divorce, and yes, the most dangerous person is the one you once loved, she accused me of child sex abuse, at least CT only got the Wife Beater, wich is less damaging, and I was like wow, we can laugh after all that shit, and you know, I dont have my Ice Cream Truck right now, but hell yeah! Im waiting for it!… Cheers and may GOD be with us all!!!…

Renee Highsmith writes:  

Love is evol is the best. A million laughs. If you have any sense of relationships you will relate. He touches on every moment of crazy honesty. I hate he found that jeans model. Even women that are into logical sequence of thought can laugh. If you are a woman that can’t laugh at this guy you really should sit back and ponder your life.

J_Brisby writes:  

I haven’t listened to ‘Love is Evol’ yet, although I can’t wait to hear what went wrong with his marriage (it was always presented as so perfect!).

But I will say that the ‘Fifth Annual End Of The World Tour’ album bothered me a lot because so much of it was blatantly ripping off Robin Williams’ ‘A Night At The Met’ album. Listen for yourself…it will shock you.

Kat Krischild writes:  

Well, he made us love his wife in previous concerts and the tv show, so hearing about the divorce is hard, almost as though I knew them personally, but man, I still laughed myself out of the chair. Besides, I’m an adult, I know there are always two sides. My one regret is that I can’t hear how Titus would do a show from his ex-wife’s perspective, can you imagine it?

Johanna writes:  

I don’t think he’d be able to, but that’s a good point. It couldn’t have been easy dealing with someone who lived through all that. Especially once they wound up in Hollywood.

Stirling writes:  

I watched this man’s stuff a while back, was feeling really good that he’d finally settled down and met a good woman. Then I watched this festering pus of hate… and well… I got to be honest.

He acted like his horrible upbringing made him stronger, made him more able to react to horrible situations. I’d say that the first might be true, not too sure about the second. What I can say is that it is obvious that his failures in marraige in love are definately influenced by his horrible upbringing. Living up in a home where your folks treat you like garbage does not make you a stronger more independant person. It is damaging and we can see that quite clearly in this mess of a stand up.

Its just his angry vent. He’s trying to laugh to keep from crying…you can see the pain and hatred in his eyes. I weep for the man, but he just seems so intent on wallowing in his own sorrow, making light of it and turning it into a joke. He’s gone too far, and I wish him well.

I doubt he’ll even marry this one though.

Dustin writes:  

Christopher titus sucks big time. Lamest comedian. Funniest parts are when the audience tells him he sucks


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