Much unlike many a magazine editor who recommends you buy all sorts of crap that they most likely got for free, your Jezebel staff doesn't get jack shit (other than books, unsolicited). And that's how it should be. But on our own time, in our personal lives, we still buy stuff. So this is Worth It, our recommendation of random things that we've actually spent our own money on. These are the things we buy regularly or really like, things we'd actually tell our friends about. And now we're telling you.
Can I get real with you and rap one on one for a sec? I don't like to work out. I don't like to run on treadmills or work my legs on the elliptical or go to spin classes. This not because I am lazy (though I am). This is because I get so bored that I am ready to stop whatever I am doing after about 10 minutes to go home to watch TV on my couch like a normal person. And that would be fine except for the fact that I, having read one too many novels about the dystopian future, do not want to stop exercising because you never know when you might need to run, climb a tree, or fashion a bow and arrow from your own arm bones.
Sure, upbeat music helps with the boredom, but I've found myself zoning out to even the best of playlists. The one thing that I've found to be distractible enough, however, is podcasts and standup comedy albums. Pick the right one and it's informative and entertaining. Pick the best one and you get twice the workout when you laugh so hard that your abs hurt.
You can imagine how thrilled I was when I discovered that Gabe Liedman, one of my favorite comedians in the whole world, was coming out with a full length album. Do you know how many laps around the park this will get me through? (I am not going to lie to you — it's only two.)
I first encountered Gabe's standup when I moved to New York a few years ago. Knowing few people in the city, I would often find myself alone — accept for on Wednesday nights. Every Wednesday, Gabe (along with Jenny Slate and Max Silvestri) hosts Big Terrific, a free and intimate standup show in Brooklyn that often hosts impressive names like Aziz Ansari, Zach Galifianakis and Kristen Schaal. While it was hard to not get excited by some of the most famous comedians in the business, what appealed to me most about Big Terrific has always been Gabe's sets because they were sidesplittingly funny, sure, but more because every Wednesday he would make lonely ol' me feel like I had a friend.
I am not alone in this. A huge part of Liedman's skill and appeal lies in his ability to draw the audience in with his stories about working at Magnolia Bakery at the height of Sex and the City fandom, awkward online dating experiences and how Netflix managed to figure out that he was gay. Better still, he never turns on the audience, never gets mean and never abuses the crowd's trust. Listening to Gabe talk on stage is like sitting at a bar with your most entertaining acquaintance — it's effortless, fun, frivolous and fulfilling.
His first full-length comedy album Hiyeeee!! was released yesterday through ASpecialThing Records and I've already downloaded it and listened to it twice, thrilled with the fact that I no longer have to keep my one-sided friendship with Gabe limited to Wednesday nights at Big Terrific. Now, he can be my fake friend on the subway, my fake friend as I clean my bathroom and my fake friend as I train my body for the apocalypse.
Let Gabe Liedman be your friend, too!
Worth It only features things we paid for ourselves and actually like. Don't send us stuff.