STUDIO: Comedy Central
RUNNING TIME: 176 minutes
• Comedy Central show previews
Eight comedians for $12.99! That’s a very fiscally sound $1.623 per comedian.
After the audience didn’t get his Berlin Alexanderplatz joke, Patton set down
the microphone and drifted mournfully into the curtains behind the stage.
Cast: Patton Oswalt (!), Zach Galifianakis, Nick Swardson, Dave Attell, Stephen Lynch, Frank Caliendo, Daniel Tosh, Mike Birbiglia
A followup to last year’s unsurprisingly tame comedy compilation, The Best of Comedy Central Presents: Uncut II features eight 30 minute sets from familiar faces like Patton Oswalt, Stephen Lynch, Dave Attell, and Zach Galifianakis. Patton Oswalt rails about PAAS, Stephen Lynch plays guitar, Dave Attell tells liquor jokes, Zach Galifianakis prances behind a ladychorus, and Frank Caliendo does his John Madden impression.
James Taylor’s unfortunate occult phase, featuring the song “Sweet Baby Flesh.”
There’s nothing worse than enduring a heckling asshole at a comedy show. Is writing a negative review of a comedy set considered heckling?
In the recently released documentary Heckler, CHUD gets singled out as a group of cowardly internet bullies who love slinging poo at filmmakers. While that assessment isn’t completely untrue, it doesn’t account for the massive amounts of love CHUD writers give to projects that excite them. We’re certainly not all Pauline Kaels, and we do succumb to the occasional Jessica Simpson trainwreck, but on the whole, our news stories are driven by interest and excitement rather than jealousy. On the other hand, CHUD’s DVD reviews can get pretty nasty, but 10,000 BC isn’t going to review itself.
In the interest of keeping things positive: The comedians featured in The Best Of Comedy Central Presents: Uncensored II are all very talented people. While some of it isn’t very funny, there’s definitely an audience for all of it. Now that the disclaimer’s out of the way, ON WITH THE VICIOUS PERSONAL ATTACKS!
person was violently ripped in half onstage.
Much like Best Of I, Best Of II features a wide array of white male comedians. A note to women and minorities: please be more funny next time! Perhaps Comedy Central will throw you a bone for Best Of III. Stop making Frank Caliendo do all of the heavy lifting, jerks! At the top of the stack sits CHUD favorite Patton Oswalt, whose set comes mostly from his great Feelin’ Kinda Patton album. I didn’t hear any bits from his equally good (and most recent) Werewolves and Lollipops,
which means that this performance is probably four or five years old.
It’s a Best Of compilation, so that’s fine, but most of the sets in
this group come from a stale, Bush’s-First-Term comedy limbo, and
several of them haven’t aged all that well. Oswalt is just as funny as
ever, though, so if you’re not familiar with Feelin’ Kinda Patton,
you’ll probably enjoy his material here. Still, his funnier and edgier
material isn’t featured, so you’re probably better off purchasing his
albums than watching a watered down performance like this one.
Next up in the stack: Watch Oswalt’s fellow Comedian of Comedy Zach Galifianakis as he weirds out the audience with medium-concept material. He’s got a unique style that doesn’t always work, but he’s still very fun to watch. He wins points for interweaving dry humor with a piano and a truly magnificent beard. I always feel like he’s this close to bursting out into tears while he’s telling jokes at the piano.
If there’s anything to be learned from the multiple seasons of Comedy Central’s Insomiac, it’s that Dave Attell is a hilarious guy. His set here is full of funny material, but again, it’s completely defanged and even a little lifeless. Attell works best in front of rowdy crowds in shitty bars, and since Comedy Central set him up in an upscale venue full of what looks like confused tourists from Arkansas, the performance never really clicks. It’s obvious that he’s not connecting with these people, and as a result, it isn’t fun to watch. If you’re an Attell fan, you won’t find anything new here.
Sinister noises from the kennel jostle Clark from his nightly Antarctic piano revue.
Stephen Lynch fills the role as the obligatory guitar guy. In a post-Tenacious-D landscape, it’s really tough to be a badass acoustic comedian, but Lynch does a decent job assaulting us with songs about Nazi girlfriends and dead grandparents. It’s too bad that most of the songs feel like a fifteen second joke stretched out into three minutes. His Dungeons and Dragons song is really special, though, and is one of the highlights of the disc.
Nick Swardson makes some funny observations, but it all feels way too Dane Cook-y for me. I’m not a fan of his humor, but if you liked him in whatever Adam Sandler movie just came out, I’m sure you’ll like him here.
It’s all downhill from here, folks. Turn back now if you don’t like internet heckling.
Mike Birbiglia starts out with a really funny joke. It’s about rapists, so that probably says more about this reviewer than it does about Birbiglia. After that, he lets loose a litany of banal observations about girlfriends and airline food. Daniel Tosh doesn’t even have a rapist joke. They’re both very tame and uninteresting comedians, but they probably kill in flyover state comedy clubs.
And then there’s Frank Caliendo. Caliendo, who must have controlling interest in Cinemark because I’ve seen him in every goddamn “The Twenty” promo since Iron Man, has built an impresive career around a John Madden impression. It’s a very fine impression, to be sure, but that’s all he has. Every other impression he does just feels like a fatter and more annoying version of his target. You like Bush impressions? Here’s fatter Bush! How about fatter Pacino? Hoo-Ah! It was old ten years ago, and isn’t any funnier now. I think he’d make a killing on MadTV, and even though I despise MadTV and everything it stands for, don’t count that as an insult. His Madden impression is scary good.
In the end, Best Of II is a disappointing product. The performances are already dated, largely lifeless, and aren’t very good, but if you’re new to stand up and are easily offended, you might enjoy them.
There are snippets from a small handful of Comedy Central shows and a handful of promotional materials, but beyond that, it’s a bare bones release. The audio is a serviceable but bland Dolby 2/0.
Everyone laughed when Caliendo spent millions on his ectoplasm waterfall.