Recorded live in San Francisco, What Happens in Narnia opens with references to the C.S. Lewis books and role-playing games. The message is clear: everyone’s welcome, geeks are preferred. It doesn’t matter that I’ve barely dabbled with the Narnia books and never fell for the charms of twelve-sided die, I quickly came to trust Bucky. That’s key for a comedy record. I’m a sensitive progressive type and I need to know that the performer isn’t a mean-spirited twerp making jokes for the sake of making jokes (Howard Stern). Once they clear that barrier, they have free reign, and those are my favorites. Bill Hicks. David Cross. Patton Oswald. Bucky Sinister mines similar territory. His approach is simple: let’s laugh at the dumb shit I’ve experienced. The first half of the record feels loose, off the cuff. Most of it works well, especially “Renter’s Shame,” though the excessive “you know?”s clog the works at times. The second half of the record sounds like Bucky is reading or, if going from memory, working from a well-crafted script. His phrasing is better and the humor pays off more consistently. I think Bucky’s a good comedian but a great storyteller. Enough talk of generalizations, let’s get to examples. There are brilliant exercises in “What if…?” speculation like “My Date with Wonder Woman” (“Next to all the books are (her) pictures of runways and airport hangars with nothing else in them…Those are my plane. My plane’s invisible. I’m the only one who can see it.”) and “My Date with Laura Ingalls” (they meet at an estate sale, he’s stealing a diary, she’s stealing a Betamax machine). I only wish they were longer. “Like a Real Life Adam Sandler” is the perfect closer, a laugh out loud funny and oddly touching tale of Bucky’s stalker. He might laugh at people, but he still treats them like people rather than punching bags. What Happens in Narnia is a lot of fun.
–Mike Faloon (Talent Moat)