Rob Schneider is probably best known as the dude that Adam Sandler continues to put into his movies just so someone can say “You can do eet” at the top of their lungs during the final act. Over the years, Schneider has gone from SNL cast member to moderate movie star, but now he’s decided to branch out into the world of comedy albums. Registered Offender is a collection of skits and songs that is so mind-blowingly unfunny, it’s almost tempting to recommend that you pick up a copy just so we can have a long, drunken, hysterical conversation about how bad it is. Keep on reading for our full review of Rob Schneider’s Registered Offender, my gentle Examiner readers…
A few weeks ago, a terrible mistake was made and Rob Schneider’s people got in touch with me. Apparently they’ve never bothered to read anything we’ve ever said about Rob Schneider here at Comedy Examiner HQ, or they would have known that we’ve spent more than a few words mocking Schneider’s post-SNL “success” in films like The Animal and Deuce Bigalow: European Gigalo. Schneider’s people wanted to know if I’d be interested in them mailing me a copy of his new comedy album, Registered Offender, and following it up with an interview.
Was I interested? Sure, why not.
I figured, at the very worst, the album would be terrible and I’d be able to gently roast Rob Schneider over the course of a brief phone conversation. The results would be funny, and we’d be able to run them here at the Comedy Examiner’s Office. Conversely, it was possible that Rob Schneider had crafted an awesome comedy album, something that would catch me completely off-guard, and I’d eat a little crow while still gently roasting him for allowing himself to appear in The Animal. As far as I was concerned, it was a win-win. As it turns out, the very worst occurred.
Registered Offender is, without a doubt, the least funny comedy album I have ever heard. Keep in mind that I’m a comedy geek, and that if it exists, I’ve probably heard it. I’ve heard every standup album out there, and I’ve probably heard about 90% of the sketch-albums produced by Adam Sandler, Monty Python, The Jerky Boys, and whoever else has ever bothered to put something like this together. We’re talking about years of my life spent listening to these CD’s, and in all that time, I have never heard anything remotely as unfunny as Rob Schneider’s Registered Offender. According to Jim— my arch-nemesis in sitcom form– is funnier than Registered Offender. Carrot Top and his many props are ten times as funny as Registered Offender. I have seen documentaries about the holocaust that have more humor in them than this album. You get the idea.
The album is a collection of skits and songs, much like the albums that Adam Sandler used to produce. I can still recall hearing They’re All Going to Laugh at You for the first time, and how me and my 12 year-old friends courted pants-wetting while listening to “Toll Booth Willie” and “A Beating of a High School Janitor”. That’s clearly what Schneider was going for here, but saying that he failed to come close isn’t doing this collection of FAIL justice. What Schneider has accomplished here borders on the miraculous: a comedy album so bereft of comedy, it nearly becomes worth owning simply as a cautionary tale to be played for others that might decide that they’d like to record an album, too. Not one sketch nails its punchline. Not one song bears repeating. Not one joke succeeds. It’s really a symphony of failure, all recorded in the unmistakable voice of Rob Schneider. It’s a wonder.
The album begins with “What I Want”, which is nothing more than a stream-of-consciousness style rant from Schneider about things that he, uh, wants. This list does not include a single funny moment, much less a punchline. Schneider rants and raves and builds up what he obviously believes is a good head of comedy steam during the minute or so that makes up this first cut, but the listener just sits there, dumbfounded, listening to a series of phrases that carry no weight, that mean absolutely nothing. It’s a confusing way to start the album, but I pushed on, thinking that perhaps this was just Schneider working out some personal demons.
“What I Want” is followed by “Iraq Love”, a sketch wherein a soldier being shipped off to Iraq propositions his girlfriend with a series of dirty requests, each filthier than the last. Imagine a solider being shipped off to war. This man is facing almost certain death. Imagine now that he would like to do unspeakable things to his girlfriend’s anatomy. Think of the dirtiest things you can. That’s the sketch. The man requests one filthy act after another, building up to what Schneider clearly believes is a crescendo of perversion, but it’s not any more clever than anything an eight year old could come up with. I confess that I was baffled by this sketch: what is the joke here, exactly? That the soldier wants to sodomize his girlfriend? It’s not that I’m opposed to filth– in fact, as far as I’m concerned, the dirtier the better– but there’s no wit on display here. It’s the easiest possible version of this idea, conveyed with absolutely zero wit or style.
The following sketch is one that is– according to the liner notes in the disc– something of a controversy. According to the album, Schneider’s original label (who he doesn’t name) turned down the album upon hearing this sketch, titled “Yoko and Julian”. Apparently, this label was concerned that Yoko Ono would take legal action against them if the album was released. Listening to the sketch, not only does this come across as unlikely, but one wonders what sort of case Ono may have presented in court. The entire sketch revolves around Julian Lennon attempting to procure a guitar from his deceased father’s collection, now in the hands of Yoko. One after another, Yoko turns Julian down. This guitar has sentimental value, this one is special because a certain song was written on it, and so on. Eventually, Julian has gone through all 50 guitars in the collection, and leaves empty-handed. Aaaand: scene. That’s it. That’s the joke. I was baffled.
One suspects that the original label wasn’t concerned with this sketch so much as they were concerned with releasing an album that is– by any estimation– half-assed and unfunny. I simply refuse to believe that anyone would listen to Registered Offender and come away saying, “You gotta hear this, it’s hilarious!” The far likelier situation is that the original label got one listen in on this comedy abortion and decided that they’d rather forget that they’d ever supported its creation rather than release it on an unsuspecting public. Even by vanity project standards, this album is a grotesque charade.
We could go through this album one cut at a time, but let’s just wrap this up by saying this: there isn’t a single sketch on this album that packs a punch, nothing that’s as “offensive” as Rob Schneider wants you to believe it is. Oh, there are dirty words and filthy encounters, to be sure, but that’s not what makes a comedy album funny. Recording the most juvenile ideas that might be rolling around in one’s head does not a funny album make, but apparently no one thought to step up and drop this piece of information on Schneider during the recording of Registered Offender. One could say, “What was Rob Schneider thinking?”, but that would presuppose that Rob Schneider considered anything at all while recording this album. It is breathtaking in its inability to provoke even the slightest chuckle.
After I let the album have its way with me, I got back in touch with Schneider’s people. I let them know that the album was, y’know, unfunny, but offered to interview Schneider, anyway. “This,” I told them, “Would show that Rob has a pretty good sense of humor and can poke a little fun at himself. Obviously, it’s not the funniest album in the world, but at least you’d be getting the word out about it”. Schneider’s cohorts did not take the bait, and I was told that, unfortunately, the window of opportunity to interview Schneider about Registered Offender had mysteriously vanished. So, I was robbed of my chance to tell Rob Schneider what I really thought of his album. You were robbed, in the process, of getting to see what that conversation might have been like. And, should you spend any amount of money– literally any amount– purchasing your own copy of Registered Offender, you will be robbed of not only that amount of money spent, but your dignity, as well.
My grade: F+ (the plus is for the fact that this album was given to me, rather than me having to spend money to hear it).
I see that Oglio Records– the poor company that was compelled to release this album– has posted a few videos on YouTube featuring tracks from the album. I’ve selected what may be one of the least-funny of these videos for your listening pleasure, a track called “The Perfect Sh-t”. Please note that this cut is obviously not safe for work, and that it currently has a whopping total of 203 views on YouTube. As you’ll soon see, there’s a reason for that: