Josh Sneed: Do Over!

Gorilla Specials: Josh Sneed Delivers A World-Class Stand-Up Set In ‘Do Over!’

Josh Sneed has been a comic for twenty-five years, and has perfected his timing, sense of humor, delivering for his audience, storytelling ability, and even sound work. In a food-heavy special, In Do Over!, Sneed puts on a master-class that runs through the best of his material in order to show that food comedy doesn’t have to be dated, and that even stories about early aughts pop stars can still work in 2023. 

Josh Sneed: Do Over!
Josh Sneed: Do Over!

Josh Sneed knows how to dial his tone up or down just slightly enough to kill with any punchline.

One of Sneed’s gifts as a comic is his ability to modulate his voice just enough to indicate a joke or shift without tipping his hand or exaggerating. For example, he shares this joke early on in his set:


“I just like having my own thing to do during the day. I like to do whatever I want, and I get that when I’m on the road. I don’t get that when I’m at home. If it’s a family trip, I have no say whatsoever. Not long ago, we went to Amish country. I don’t know if anybody’s ever been to Amish country, but that place sucks. It is terrible. Not fun at…you know what I didn’t like? I’ll tell you what I didn’t like: the people. I didn’t like the people. I found them to be very hypocritical, you know? Because they’re like, ‘ we don’t believe in electricity, but we’ll use it if we need to run your visa card.’ And I don’t like that attitude.And I told them. I said go big or go home, Ezekiel. Don’t plug up dude. It’s a slippery slope. And he didn’t like me, probably because his name wasn’t Ezekial, and I kept trying to guess what it was. I was like Abraham? No. Jebediah? No. Alright, I’ll stop.”


Here, Sneed doesn’t rush the lines, and opts to deliver everything as conversationally as possible, shifting his voice up just enough to key the audience in to the idea of a shift toward a punchline when he hits the word “sucks.” He does the same thing with the line “We don’t believe in electricity…” and the names “Abraham” and “Jebediah.” The uptick in his voice is subtle, and doesn’t sound like much of a change from his normal speaking voice, but it’s enough to blow the room out. In stand-up, we often see a lot of yelling, deliberately odd speaking patterns, mumbling, etc. Sneed gets the room to laugh, and even slap their knees like something out of a movie, with just slight vocal shifts that, again, help the audience, rather than overwhelm them.

Like his slight vocal shift for jokes, Sneed also conjures a lot with a little imagery.

In a bit about people watching, Sneed describes a man with a perm/tuft of white chest hair as looking “like a build-a-bear whose throat had been slit to send a message to the other build-a-bears to pick it up because numbers are down.” It’s an odd image, almost gruesome, but the build-a-bear brand makes it okay to laugh at, since they’re inanimate objects. Sneed doesn’t run through tons and tons of visual ideas in his jokes, but when he lands on a visual, he makes it a point to be vivid and interesting for the audience. In comedy like Sneed’s, which deals with large, accessible topics, it can be tempting to go through the motions, but Sneed tries his best to not be lazy, and it shows.


When he tells a story about bad advice at his wedding, he describes the level of drunk the person providing the advice is by sharing that he was “breakdancing by himself on the middle of the dancefloor to the soundtrack from Aladdin during appetizers.” Here, “Aladdin” does heavy lifting for the image, but it’s evocative and weird enough to be hilarious. In a joke about how all of the food at Taco Bell is the same thing with different names, he ends the main section of the joke with the lines “This guys, what we did here, is we folded in the sides and pressed it with a t-shirt iron. What is so hard to understand about the technology we’ve invested in to make crunch wraps?” Here, “t-shirt iron” and “technology” help the joke to lift, but never threaten to give the audience too much that Sneed risks having some of his inventive ideas go to waste.

Sneed can make dumb funny.

In a joke about Man Vs. Food, Sneed points out that the host’s vocabulary has suffered from season one to six, with a pretend example of:


“Folks, there is a symphony of flavor going on in my mouth right now. When I bit down, I got heat from the peppers. I got sweet from the raleigh, a little salt from the bacon. This place, they’ve done. I’ll tell you, they’ve made perfect harmony in the form of a sandwich.”


“This is yum. This is really good.” 


The joy of “This is yum,” is off the charts in a silly, groggy, dumb voice. Sneed has plenty of little jokes and lines like this that are perfectly stupid and undeniably funny. He’s such an all-around seasoned comic, and Do Over! Is a perfect and welcome introduction to the best of his comedy.

Watch Josh Sneed's newest special, Do Over!, on YouTube andb grab a copy of the album from the special on 800 Pound Gorilla!

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