The Comedians of Comedy

"Bad"

The Comedians of Comedy Review


The idea behind the The Comedians of Comedy tour - recorded for posterity in this tedious documentary - was to take a quartet of comics and put them on the road in unusual venues that would normally be played by indie and punk bands. The theory motivating this was that they could make the whole thing not just cheaper (no two-drink minimum) but also substantively different from the type of comedy filling most yuck factories around the country. In practice, this leads to a lot of material of the alt-comedy variety that has spread over the past decade or so - most popularly typified by the standup routines of Janeane Garofalo - a style with possibilities and limitations, both well illustrated by the comics on this tour.

On the low-rewards end are Patton Oswalt and Brian Posehn, each of whom have had semi-regular sitcom gigs (King of Queens and Just Shoot Me, respectively) and are given the bulk of the screen time here, unfortunately. With Oswalt, a soft and unassuming Oliver Platt-like guy who has a penchant for excruciatingly long and unfunny political rants, the reason for his prominence is clear: he's both the emcee of the show and a producer of the film. The inclusion of Posehn, a looming Wookiee of a man with a voice that alternates between a high-pitched squeak and a low stoner mumble, makes less sense, given how much of his material is given over to geeky musings on Star Wars.

During a radio interview, Oswalt differentiates their style from that of your standard standup and defines it by being more conversational and less of a put-on; the idea being that they're not going to talk differently on stage than they would off it. The problem with this approach is that, as the film's lengthy stretches of tedious tour diary footage show, if a comic like Oswalt and Posehn is not that funny off-stage, their chances of being funny on-stage drop exponentially.

Maria Bamford, with a style that's mindful of Ellen DeGeneres' neurotic kid sister, comes closer to achieving what Oswalt's talking about. Even if her range seems limited (odd voices and off-the-wall observations), it comes closer to something that's actually ... funny. But in the end it's really only Zack Galifianakis who successfully presents an alternative idea of comedy. A bearded guy with an unsettling stare, Galifianakis does much of his act playing sad pieces on a piano, eyes closed, throwing Steven Wright-esque shards of absurdity into a microphone ("I'm thinking of making a movie... it's called Schindler's List II: Let's Get This Party Started"). He does one bit as though he were a comic from 1776, powdered wig and all ("Is this thing on? What the fuck is this thing?! Is it just me or is everyone sick of that Ben Franklin guy?") and concludes another by bringing on three street musicians he happened to see walking around earlier in the day.

It's only natural, however, in such a dull and lazily-directed film as this that it's Galifianakis we see the least of. In the end, director Michael Blieden seems oddly more interested in showcasing the quartet's ability to crack each other up in diners, vans, and hotel rooms than in making audiences (those watching the performers as well as those watching the film) laugh.

The DVD includes deleted scenes, outtakes (including lengthy vignettes of some of the film's in-movie gags), and the complete performance of the troupe at the El Rey theater in Los Angeles, shot in 2006.



The Comedians of Comedy

Facts and Figures

Run time: 103 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 12th March 2005

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: DJ Paul, Ted Sarandos, , , David Rath, Cindy Holland

Starring: as Himself, as Himself, Maria Bamford as Herself, as Himself

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Advertisement
Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

The Light Between Oceans Movie Review

The Light Between Oceans Movie Review

With a sweeping, picturesque setting and emotive performances, this dramatic epic will appeal to moviegoers...

The Accountant Movie Review

The Accountant Movie Review

While this slick dramatic thriller plays with some intriguing ideas and themes, it never actually...

Train to Busan Movie Review

Train to Busan Movie Review

Leave it to the Koreans to reinvent the zombie horror movie and put a high-speed...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.