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I like Daniel Tosh. He’s one of the few comics who TRY to say the most offensive thing they can, and actually SUCCEED in making it funny. His new DVD, Happy Thoughts, out March 8th from Paramount Home Entertainment, is no exception. He got me to laugh at child abuse, a kid decapitated by an amusement park ride, a little girl run down by a car in his neighbourhood, and spousal assault. I’m quite impressed with people who can make spousal assault and the death of children funny outside their own circle of perverse friends.
Of course, Tosh’s brand of comedy is not for everyone. People who are easily offended should probably avoid this. Then again, people who are easily offended should probably avoid all comedy in general, on principle. The one thing I like most about Tosh is his total unwillingness to soften any of his harsh bits. Normally comedians make jokes about their wives and girlfriends, really mean-spirited stuff, but then they try to soften themselves in the eyes of the audience by saying “really, though, I DO love my wife/girlfriend/etc.”
Not Tosh. No, he ups the ante with “seriously though, I HATE my girlfriend”. He takes the story of the little girl killed by a car, and makes a really funny observation about the speed bumps that were put on the street as a result. Then, he takes it one step further by imagining her parents to be terrible people for no good reason except that it’s funny to then deconstruct the joke in reverse. Which of course he does. And it gets much, much funnier.
The special features are pretty good too, as we get to see Tosh in a slightly different way, interacting with the audience and making jokes about the filming of the special itself. There’s about 10-15 extra minutes of Tosh, which is welcome as the special itself runs only 58 minutes. Also included are the two opening acts. Jasper Redd is a fast-talking comedian who does a decent set, although most of it is about Grimace at McDonalds, and I feel like I’ve heard that bit too often. Matt Fulchiron is not as good – although I assume he’s from San Francisco, where the special was taped, and most of his jokes are directed at that audience and relatively unintelligible for those of us who don’t live there.
I have never watched Tosh.0, Daniel Tosh’s show that runs on the Comedy Network here in Canada. But after seeing this stand-up special, I set my PVR to tape it the next time it’s on. I doubt he’ll be as caustic on TV as he was on this DVD, but if he’s half as funny I’ll be happy enough.