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Like a lot of folks, David Cross lets Washington bring out the worst in him. His latest, It’s Not Funny, was recorded over the course of several nights at the D.C. Improv earlier this year, and perhaps his proximity to the White House compelled Cross to offer self-righteous harangues on the current state of the union. His take on the government isn’t particularly insightful, and he spends a lot of time lobbing stones at such tired, barn-door-sized targets as Strom Thurmond and Rick Santorum. There are a few wonderfully vicious moments amid all the easy GOP-bashing—witness Trent Lott finding out about the existence of BET: “What!? The niggers got their own television station? What kind of futuristic sci-fi Year 3000 bullshit is this?” But the problem is, Cross’ stand-up persona is so off-putting that even folks who agree with his politics will feel alienated: He smugly proclaims that, unlike the NASCAR-watching, Grisham-reading cattle, he doesn’t watch “shitty movies.” (No, he just acts in them—Scary Movie 2, anyone?) And he takes aim at gay couples who look alike and “overweight women in Accounts Receivable with hunky firemen calendars” with the same level of vitriol as he does the Bush administration. Cross never attempts to sell himself to his audience, and his Sub Pop–approved hipper-than-thouness makes you feel as if you could just as easily be on the receiving end of one of his jabs. In the early ’90s, Bill Hicks satirized the prequel to Operation Iraqi Freedom with more passion than Cross could ever summon—and he added some appealing self-deprecation to the mix, too. Sure, there’s the pan-baiting title of the disc itself, but can that really compete with what amounts to Brainy Smurf with a subscription to The Nation? Ultimately, It’s Not Funny reveals that Cross has shared more with W. than a location: He’s pretty good at not admitting his own faults, too. —David Dunlap Jr.