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Bill Engvall

Here's Your Christmas Album

(Warner Bros.)

Listen: you really do not need this CD of novelty Christmas songs. Not for camp value, not to scare away friends when they’ve come to a party at your house and won’t leave at some decent hour. This is simply as bad as it gets.

Bill Engvall is a country comedian whose gimmick is to make fun of stupid people and stupid things (rednecks having been taken by his pal Jeff Foxworthy). So he goes on and on about how “Fruitcake Makes Me Puke” (that, by the way, is the title of not one but two songs: one is a “rock” version for you and your sweet li’l rock ‘n’ roller to put on once you’ve got the kids in bed, yee-hah) that trades in dumb jokes that are about as old as that fruitcake you got from the boss last yuletide. It all makes you appreciate just how much quiet sophistication we lost with the passing of Jerry Clower.

The most remarkably offensive part of this thing, beyond even “Rudolph Got a DUI” (which, because God is funny and sometimes cruel, will probably become a perenniel on Morning Zoo-type radio programs), is the spoken-word introductions. They are not funny, either, and they try to explain the jokes so you will not feel like one of the stupid people Engvall hates. These introductions are dumb, they make you pay attention to this guy’s words (so you can’t just relegate the songs to background-noise status), and they also trade in cliché. As inspiration for “I’m Getting Sued by Santa Claus,” Engvall cites “these politically-correct times.” Take the triteness and mean-spiritedness of that phrase as a sign.


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