The Pleasant Dilemma of Hamell on Trial

A post-Obama protest singer deals with victory

Yes. The former concerns Ed's tremendous oral-sex acumen, with a chorus that consists mostly of him bleating the song's title repeatedly. It's tiresome on record but, should the crowd be into it, oddly delightful in concert, and the Bowery Poetry Club gang, not surprisingly, is really, really into it. But the second that the song ends, he starts talking about his father's suicide note. His father, you see, was married for 50 years, and when his wife, Ed's mother, got Alzheimer's and no longer recognized him (or anyone, really), Ed's dad killed her, and then himself. The note he left Ed remarks that if Jesus, up in heaven, should take issue with this, Ed's father will respond, "What did you do to my Ruth?" And then Hamell launches into "Father's Advice," written from Ed's perspective to his own son, explaining what happened to Grandma and Grandpa, and distilling Grandpa's advice: "You better laugh till you die." In a show completely saturated with blue humor, this is the one truly shocking moment. A talent this vast is wasted just bitching about the Republicans. Thank God he no longer has to.

Stand back: He's a professional.
Mollye Chudacoff
Stand back: He's a professional.

Hamell on Trial plays the Bowery Poetry Club November 15–16

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