Waiting for the Punchline is Extreme's fourth album, which was released in 1995. It is known by fans as a distinctively raw sounding record - especially when compared to the big production of the two previous albums - with a significant influence from grunge and alternative rock, while still showcasing guitarist Nuno Bettencourt's talents. Due to its lyrics focused heavily on social matters (ranging from religion to fame) it is often cited as a concept album. It is also the only Extreme record to feature drummer Mike Mangini (on 3 tracks). After the album's tour, the band subsequently disbanded in 1996 when Bettencourt informed Extreme that he was leaving the band to pursue a solo career. After the breakup, singer Gary Cherone also joined Van Halen in the same year as their new singer, but left three years later.
Extreme's previous two albums had contained sequential numbers. Their first album was self-titled, the full title of their second album was Extreme II: Pornograffitti and the third album was called III Sides to Every Story. This practice was seemingly abandoned with the fourth album, but 'for' in 'Waiting for the Punchline' could be interpreted as a pun on 'four'.