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Music / Stephen Lynch

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Stephen Andrew Lynch (born July 28, 1971) is a musical comedian/actor noted for audacious and vulgar songs.

Tropes associated with Stephen Lynch include:

  • Affably Evil: "Beelz", which portrays Satan as a Sissy Villain.
  • Anti-Love Song: "Hey Love," which is about how Stephen hates loving hating love.
  • Antichrist: According to the song Beelz
    "To spread my evil ways I went to Earth and had a son/And now he makes his living as a singing comedian."
  • Artistic License History: "Tennessee" claims B.B. King, Al Gore and Aretha Franklin were all born in Tennessee. Only Franklin was actually born there of the three, though Gore's dad was a Congressman from Tennessee, and the younger Gore did spend his summers there.
  • Ass Shove: "Gerbil"
    "If Richard Gere can do it I can too!"
  • Audience Participation Song: When performing "Superhero", Stephen usually invites the audience to come up with their own superheroes. The suggestions tend to get... inventive.
    Stephen: "Valtrex Man"? Isn't that the herpes medicine? (beat) Notice how nobody said "Yes, it is!"
    • Certain performances of "Vanilla Ice Cream" have audience members shouting out names of White celebrities who have dated/are married to Black women.
    • Most of his songs count as this, but "Baby" invokes it.
      Damn, that's an ugly baby! C'mon everybody, sing along! Damn, that's an ugly ba- Sing, fuckers! C'mon! Damn, that's an ugly baby!
  • Beer Goggles: The "big fat friend" of the subject of "She Gotta Smile" "loses a couple of pounds" with every shot of alcohol consumed by the "non-discriminating friend."
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: "Talk to Me, Dad" is on the subject.
    Well it seems last night you caught me spankin' it
    No use denyin' it, I was really crankin' it...
  • Cain and Abel: Evidently, Jesus had a brother named Craig, a party animal and BFF of Judas.
  • Descent into Darkness Song: Several songs. "Superhero" starts with describing various superheroes kids might want to be before turning into a diatribe against his unfaithful wife who now lives in Hawaii with a doctor, dumping him with three kids and no job.
  • Did Not Think This Through: The twist at the end of "Grandfather" is that he forgot that his grandmother was still alive, and makes plans to bump her off next.
  • Dirty Old Man: His character in "Mixer at Delta Chi", a self-styled "bad professor" who macks on freshmen.
  • Discriminate and Switch: The setup for "Vanilla Ice Cream".
    Just dont take it personally, this is no attack; But we will never last because Im white and you are also white.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: "Queer Tattoo," which is all about queer tattoos. And by "queer", Stephen means "bad tattoo," not gay. Unless you get a tattoo of a pink triangle on a rainbow flag with a bear wearing leather and a ball gag.
  • Everybody Wants the Hermaphrodite: Used in the appropriately-titled "Hermaphrodite" (pronounced Herm-Aphrodite).
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "What If That Guy From The Smashing Pumpkins Lost His Car Keys?"
  • Fake-Out Opening: His usual schtick is to have his songs start as a pleasant acoustic guitar ballad for the first verse before completely going off the rails by the chorus. Reversed with "Beelz," a song about Satan that starts out as a harsh whsiper for the first verse but then switches to a cheerful voice for the rest of the song.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: "Voices In My Head" parodies this. The two voices in Stephen's head are both bad, with one being rather violent ("I hope that guy who heckled me gets hit by a school bus, that fucker") and the other being obsessed with sex ("Go on, ask that girl up front to come backstage and show her thong"). Also, both of them suggest that Stephen is a mess and that he should do a ton of cocaine.
  • The Grotesque: The titular "Baby", especially if the lyrics near the end are any indication.
    ''She's got one good tooth and one ear, and one eye // Thank God just one nose, but it's on her left thigh!
  • Happily Married: Reportedly, he trusts his wife Erin Dwight's opinion so much that if she doesn't laugh on the first pass of a song, he'll scrap it entirely.
  • Heel Realization: Subverted in "Fishin' Hole". After calling everyone he meets an asshole, the singer wonders "are there really assholes everywhere I look, or am I the one to blame?" He takes a good hard look at himself in the mirror (complete with a Beat), then calls the guy who sold him the mirror an asshole, because the "son of a bitch said it was antique" when it clearly isn't.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Implied in bridge of "Gay."
    "We've never hugged, we've never kissed / I've never been intimate with your fist / But you have opened brand new doors / Get over here and drop! Your! Drawers!"
  • Ignored Epiphany: "Fishin' Hole" has the singer call everyone around him an asshole. Eventually, he decides to literally take a long look in the mirror, having realized that maybe the big problem is him only to call the guy who sold him the mirror an asshole, since it's clearly not an antique.
  • I'm Going to Hell for This: Repeatedly states this between verses on "Special Olympics". The fact that he has others sing along with him means that everyone else is going down with him.
  • Inheritance Murder: The singer's conclusion in "Grandfather".
    ''It's all over now, my grand-dad is dead. A mysterious blow to his wrinkled old head. Before I collect, a small oversight, but everything should turn out alright. I'll start working on my grandma tonight.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Every. Fucking. Song. A major source of Lynch's humor is his choir boy and slow songwriting contrasting some pretty dark lyrics.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: Special Ed has to live in his mother's shed. It's not all bad, though, since Ed is 1) allowed out to play, and 2) gets a bed. Compared to most other attic dwellers, he lives like a king.
  • Mood Whiplash: His songs tend to follow a structure of one completely straight verse, then a chorus that turns it into a joke song. "Lullaby" is a good example of this.
  • Mushroom Samba: "So This is Outer Space" is about a man unaware he's high and thinks he's in outer space. He starts to come down from a bad trip, but gets some for the alien who sold him the drugs.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: "Best Friend's Song" subverts this. Mark Teich is fine with Lynch sleeping with his sister... he just has to pay first.
  • Nerds Are Virgins: "D&D" mocks people who play Dungeons & Dragons, saying they've "never kissed a lady before", has one of the singers lie about having a girlfriend, and ends with the line "Virgins till the day we die!"
  • Parental Favoritism: The eponymous "Craig" claims Jesus was Mary's favorite, and this is clearly a source of Craig's resentment of Jesus.
  • Parental Incest: His "Mother's Day" song hints at this, as his mother was his prom date "And I was the only guy // who got lucky that night".
    Stephen: What?! Oh, like you've never fucked your mom before!
  • Patter Song: A few, but most notably "Whittlin' Man" (especially with Rod Cone's backup vocals).
  • Pedophile Priest: "Priest" is a song of a priest barely trying to resist his urges.
  • Perishing Alt-Rock Voice: Parodied in "What If That Guy From Smashing Pumpkins Lost His Car Keys."
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Played for laughs in "Fishin' Hole". The singer calls everyone around him an asshole, and fantasizes about punching them. However, when he calls a bar an asshole (because it's closed for renevations), he admits that he can't punch the bar because he'd hurt his hand.
  • Protest Song: Played with in "America." It sounds like Patriotic Fervor at first, but then turns against George W. Bush in the last verse. However, it still ends on a hopeful note about America.
  • Race Fetish: "Vanilla Ice Cream" is about this.
    ''I only like black girls, the brown girls, the café au lait.// Oh, caramel girls and mocha girls just blow me away.// If you're a nubian,// I want you to be in// Every fantasy,// But if you're a whitey,// Say nighty-nighty,// You're just not the girl for me.
  • Refuge in Audacity: His entire schtick is this. For example:
    • A song about being divorced for being absolutely disgusting; couched as a lullaby to his infant daughter.
    • A song about a Jewish man who somehow lands a Neo-Nazi girlfriend.
    • A song about his "special" friend Edward; who one day smashes him in the face him with a brick, making the narrator "special" too.
    • A song making fun of the special Olympics
    • A song about his twin daughters; one is born absolutely hideous (she's promptly abandoned).
  • Running Gag: His complete inability to whistle as part of his songs. It might start out okay, but it quickly dries up into literally blowing air through his lips before he gives up.
  • Self-Deprecation : From "Beelz"
    To carry on my evil ways
    I went and had a son
    And now he makes his living
    As a singing comedian
  • Sibling Rivalry: "Craig" is largely about how much the titular character despises his brother, Jesus Christ, and how much cooler he is than said brother.
  • Starbucks Skin Scale: Used in the song "Vanilla Ice Cream". Stephen says he only likes girls with dark shades of skin, and if you're too light, he's not interested. The chorus always starts with the lines "I only like black girls, the brown girls, the café au lait; caramel girls and mocha girls just blow me away".
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: "Special Ed".
    I thought college life was great,
    Ed couldn't count from one to two!
    • Also "If I Were Gay", which he lampshades by included a slight Beat.
    If I were gay we would tear down the walls.
    But I'm not gay, so won't you stop cupping my... hand.
    • Again in "Vanilla Ice Cream":
    Just don't take it personally
    This is no attack
    But we will never last because
    I'm white and you are...also white
    • Also, from "Whittlin' Man."
    He'll whittle if it's new, he'll whittle if it's old
    Whittle something hot, and he'll whittle something rather chilly
  • Take That!:
  • Technician Versus Performer: Though he'd be quick to point out that he's not an especially skilled musician, Lynch considers himself a songwriter first and a comedian second, citing Carly Simon as a major influence. The only part of his songs that are intentionally funny are the subject, which makes them all the funnier.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: "Little Tiny Moustache".
  • Your Mom: At the end of "D&D" during his performance at the El Ray when his brother comes out to berate them for pretending like that.
    Stephen and Mark: We put a spell on thee!
    Drew: You guys are too much for me! Hahaha. (Beat)
    Stephen and Mark: That's what your mama said last night! It's D and D!
  • Why Won't You Die?: The singer of "Grandfather" is rather annoyed his elderly grandpa won't croak already, even name-dropping the trope.
    Oh why won't you die, Grandpa, why must you fight?! // YOU OLD MOTHERFUCKER, JUST WALK TOWARDS THE GODDAMN LIGHT!
  • World of Jerkass: "Fishin Hole," which is all about how the singer thinks everyone in the world except him is an asshole.