Here's an easy, foolproof way to see if a comedian is getting desperate: Check how far he gets into his act or his album before he digs up those hoary bits about flying and the weather.
There are no airplane or wind-chill factor jokes on Jerry Clower's 200th (or something like that) album. Which is not to say that the routines here are fresh and innovative. Most of these jokes could be eligible for Social Security - if not a Civil War veteran's pension. But even when you see the punch line a mile away é as in the good old boy, fed up with the bragging Texan, who tried to pass off a turtle as a tick, or the bird dogs who inexplicably point to a boy, who turns out to be named Bob White é you still laugh when Clower gets there. He's cornier than a vat of Green Giant Niblets, but his enthusiasm is contagious. There's not as much treacly sentimentality or sanctimoniousness on this album as some of Clower's others, and what little there is, is easy to overlook. The last track on this CD is "Laughter Cures All." Unfortunately that's not true. If laughter cured all, the great coon hunter would still have been with us for many more years.