By Daniel Kohn
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There's something being crammed down my throat. It's Tenacious D, the alterna-comedy duo starring annoying-yet-funny guy Jack Black (High Fidelity, Shallow Hal) and fellow annoying-yet-funny guy Kyle Gass. I want to hate them because I feel as if I'm expected to love them. Janeane Garafalo loves them. Warren Fitzgerald from the Vandals loves them. Dave Grohl loves them. Bob and David from Mr. Show love them. Your hipster friend who lives in Silver Lake loves them. The guy who sits behind me loves them.
I don't love them. They're two chunky guys who play acoustic guitar and sing songs about sex. "I check my dipstick/You need lubrication, honey/My kielbasa sausage has got to perform/Now get it on," Black sings on the aptly titled "Kielbasa" from the duo's self-titled major-label debut.
But I find my anti-Tenacious D defenses cracking. That fucking "Kielbasa" song was stuck in my head all morning. And just try to listen to showstopping tracks "Hard Fucking" and "Fuck Her Gently" without smiling. You will smile. You will smile despite yourself.
Black and Gass got their start in 1994 playing a show at the now-defunct downtown LA club Al's Bar. David Cross (from HBO's extremely funny Mr. Show) was in the audience, and he invited them to play some comedy shows with him and his friends. Guest starring at some of these shows? Janeane Garafalo and Ben Stiller. Before long, Tenacious D were ensconced in LA's "alternative comedy" movement, and the rest is history. They were on Mr. Show. They were on Saturday Night Live. They were being crammed down my throat.
But it's hard to hate people who are trying make you laugh, which seems to be the goal of the crazed Black and Gass.
Or perhaps they just want to bed you.
"I'd like to place my hand upon your fuckin' sexy ass and squeeze and squeeze," threatens Black on "Double Team" before encouraging the lucky lady to "take off your blouse and your underpants, and take a look 'cause here me and KG [Kyle Gass] come naked out of the side hatch with the oils and perfume and incense."Tenacious D perform with Weezer and Jimmy Eat World at the Long Beach Arena, 300 Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, (562) 436-3661. Fri., 7:30 p.m. $27.50. All ages.