Raffi gone raunchy: Stephen Lynch sings children’s songs with dirty lyrics

When Stephen Lynch gets on stage, he seems like another John Mayer rip-off. It’s pretty tame for the first few bars – until you realize that he’s singing about how he wants to take you home from the bar, but can’t handle your grossly overweight friend (the solution: his non-discriminating friend).

Lynch recently kicked off his 2005 tour in New York City. His unique fusion of music and comedy began to take off with his 2000 “Comedy Central Presents” special, which featured his smash hit “If I Were Gay.”

In the special, he acts like the kindergarten teacher you never want your children to have. He’s Raffi gone horribly wrong, performing his rather raunchy yet hilarious material in front of a gigantic storybook.

“You have to have sort of a theme to tie songs together,” said Lynch in an interview with The Hatchet, “and at the time I thought it would be funny the idea that I’m singing all these really inappropriate songs, songs you don’t want kids to hear.”

Topics range from love songs (about herpes) to lullabies (on why mommy left us) to killing kittens (no explanation needed). Another favorite off his new album is “What if That Guy From Smashing Pumpkins Lost His Car Keys” – probably the most family-friendly of all his songs, and definitely one of the funniest.

Lynch started out just messing around and playing guitar for his friends while attending Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich. After realizing he wanted to make a career out of it, Lynch later moved to New York City to try his luck and started playing the comedy club circuit.

He soon became a regular on the famous “Opie and Anthony” radio show, which recently moved to XM Satellite Radio after being canceled in 2002 for a stunt involving explicit sexual innuendo in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Lynch is now set to play Robbie Hart in the Broadway musical version of “The Wedding Singer,” taking on the role originally played by Adam Sandler. He claims his mullet will be authentic – “I’m about halfway there,” he said.

Rehearsals for the show are set to begin after his tour ends in December and it will open in spring 2006.

After the show, he plans to continue doing what he does now, and hopes to work again with Comedy Central. “Some day I’ll record a serious song,” he noted. “I’m having too much fun now.”

Lynch went on the road last year with comedian Mitch Hedberg, on what would turn out to be Hedberg’s last tour. He is currently touring the nation promoting his new album released Oct. 4, The Craig Machine, and will appear at GW’s Lisner Auditorium Oct. 20.

When asked what GW students should expect from the show, he said, “It’s not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.” As for the rest of us – it’ll be a good night. n

Stephen Lynch will be appearing at Lisner Auditorium Oct. 20. Student tickets are $24.50 and are available at Ticketmaster.

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