Archive for the ‘TV special’ Category
Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
“When I have 7/8 of a gram of marijuana, I consider that to be out of marijuana!”
To hear the review
To hear the review
Ron White is a pretty funny guy, and his new DVD is pretty good. He isn’t a smart-guy comedian like Bill Maher, or a manic comedian like Robin Williams, which makes him fairly generic as far as big-time comedy guys go. But he is also not a one-joke guy like Jeff Foxworthy, and he has good material, unlike Dane Cook. So as far as the mid-level comedians go, Ron White is a pretty good one. And his DVD is pretty good. And not too repetitive.
He runs through bits I have heard from other comedians, many times before – getting busted for speeding (although that’s in the special features, and cut out of the main DVD), getting busted for marijuana, enjoying his bidet toilet. His best bits are about the smell of a paper factory in his hometown, and the ones dealing with the war. He isn’t particularly insightful when it comes to the war, and his message isn’t really a very political one, and he relies a little too much on that “God Bless the troops” rah-rah American stuff, but it’s funny, and that’s what counts.
Through the whole comedy special, taped in Seattle in 2009, White is smoking his cigar and drinking his scotch, and that’s his character. As far as props go, they are an excellent addition to his show because he can gesture with the cigar, take a pregnant pause to sip his scotch, and the pacing of his show is terrific. White is at his best when he screws up a line and has to go off the cuff for a while, but it only happens a couple of times. There are four special features on the DVD, out April 28th from Paramount Home Entertainment, three of which are deleted scenes from the stand-up performance which are pretty solid additions. Then there is a clip of him talking to people at a bar for some reason, which is totally useless. But the DVD is a pretty good one, worth renting for a Sunday afternoon when there’s no football on.
Monday, March 9th, 2009
George Carlin’s final comedy special is called It’s Bad For Ya, the follow-up to the terrific 2005 HBO special Life Is Worth Losing. It’s on DVD now and it’s even better than the last one. Carlin had just turned 70 when he recorded It’s Bad For Ya for HBO, and he’s a little more hunched, a little slower moving about the stage, but as sharp and witty and caustic as ever. His opening bit about going through his address book and crossing out his friends who have died is priceless. It’s as funny as Carlin’s ever been. He moves on to more humour that is, in a way, bittersweet given his recent death. Another magnificent bit concerns the “things we say when people die”. Hilarious.
It’s Bad For Ya is a fitting coda to Carlin’s career, with his trademark profanity, his take on everyday things that is still sharper than anyone else, and his thoughts on slogans are representative of his entire career. Watching Carlin riff on “God Bless America” and “Proud To Be American” bumper stickers is amazing. He was as clever and incisive at the end of his career as he was at the beginning. And just as filthy. It’s Bad For Ya won a Grammy award for Best Comedy Album, awarded after his death. And the fact that this exists on DVD means that George Carlin, even after death, will not be deleted from our collective address books. At least, for another few years.