800 Pound Gorilla is pleased to announce the November 3, 2020 release of Last Wishes, the new full-length comedy album from comedian and writer Brian Parise.
Death is a theme on Last Wishes. The first 6 minutes of the Album are all about murder and death, "ya know, just to ease people into it." says Brian. In fact,
Last Wishes was recorded a week before the COVID shutdown, when no one knew what it was going to be. However, the album is not a gratuitously morbid affair. According to Parise, "One of the ways I cope with my anxieties is writing material about it, and since fear of death is one of my jams, you’re gonna hear jokes about it."
In fact, Last Wishes was made under aggressively celebratory circumstances: Parise had to personally eject two drunk women from the front row, and another guy was so drunk he fell asleep, which wasn't a problem until he started having audible night terrors. Two bouncers had to help him out of the venue like a ball player that just tore their ACL.
Parise touches on lots besides death. He prefers to steer clear of political material that will quickly become dated, but he likes exploring themes that have a political streak, like immigration, racism, homophobia. Parise's father is an immigrant. "I think when you grow up and half your family is from another country, the issue of immigration is a lot more personal to you. These are people I love, and if they didn’t come here on a boat, I wouldn’t exist." His barometer for material about race: "I’ll do racial material that people dislike, as long as those people are white people in a rural bowling alley. (Yes, old lady from Fredericksburg, this is about YOU)", religion: "I have a lot of personal experience with it, and that’s where the material comes from. Any God worth believing in would have a sense of humor." and gender roles: "I spent the first half of my life trying to prove that I was manly enough and it was exhausting. Luckily I gave up on that trash and started allowing myself to have pink cocktails and emotions. I find selling out my gender to be much funnier than defending it. I’m a comic first and a man second."
ABOUT BRIAN PARISE:
Brian Parise is an Emmy-winning late night comedy writer and stand-up comedian who has written for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj. As a stand-up, he’s been selected for the New Faces showcase at the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, and (when possible) performs regularly in NYC and on the road. Brian also hosts and produces The Pasta Show, a long-running Brooklyn stand-up show where he indulges his Italian side by personally cooking pasta for the entire audience.
Brian was diagnosed as a comedian at a young age. At a 7th grade talent show he wrote and starred in a Judge Judy sketch, crossdressing and all (hopefully, that VHS tape has been erased). He ran for Class President solely because it was an opportunity to give "speeches" (aka he could do 5 minutes of material in front of the class). Comedy is an incurable disease that often strikes people young.
Brian got his proper start in stand-up right after college at an open mic at a comedy club inside a Best Western in DC. According to Brian: "If you did well enough at the open mic they’d eventually let you host which included working the cash register, seating guests, fielding complaints about chicken wings, hosting the show, and bussing tables. That was my first real stand-up gig. You’d get $10/hr (so $15) and you clocked in with a timecard like a Best Western janitor. I loved it."