Mike Albo is a “jack of all trades” – at least all that are media related. The Fort Greene native has written two novels, has a regular style column in The New York Times, performs both as a solo artist and with the group Pupu Platter, and has worked on numerous film projects.
Recently, Albo’s worked of short films based on his 2005 novel, The Underminer: The Best Friend Who Casually Destroys Your Life. Though I am not familiar with the novel, I’d imagine Albo plays his own antagonist very well. In the videos, the viewer is put in the place of the protagonist and sees first hand how the “Underminer” passive-aggressively picks apart flaws.
Albo can make any comment sound like an insult. His sarcasm is so deft it is often difficult to tell what’s being mocked. And ccasionally, in my opinion, his punch lines are too over the top or obvious. Lines like “Retarded people are doing it,” from the Yoga video, interupt the flow of work which is otherwise subtle and character driven.
It’s very difficult to tell what is taken seriously in Mike Albo’s world. His website has the aesthetic of a pre-21st-century Labyrinth fan site, featuring a naked Albo as a navigation menu. Based on an interview in the Brooklyn Paper, Albo is quite different from his performances, giving the seamlessness of his performative self a schizophrenic quality which gives even another layer to his satire.
He’s the type of artist I’d like to meet in person. The Underminer, however, I don’t think my ego could handle