'The Comedians of Comedy' (Movie) *** 050606
DVD Review (2005)


The Work = ***
First off the bad stuff: As of this review 'The Comedians of Comedy' can only be seen in extremely limited theatrical screenings, or on Showtime (I think,) or on Netflix. There is also a 'The Comedians of Comedy' TV show and comedy tour. I believe the show and tour have ended. Actually, I had started writing this review in 2005, I believe there is a new 2006 'Comedians of Comedy' tour with a different line up and the show has, as far as I know, ended.

'The Comedians of Comedy' the movie follows four comedians on a tour of the US. They are Patton Oswalt, Maria Bamford, Zach Galifianakis, and Brian Posehn. They all seem to be talented comedians in their own right and I have to admit that I was most familiar with Posehn. I first heard of him when I became addicted to the HBO series 'Mr Show'. He has popped up in other things and I suppose most people will probably know him from the sitcom 'Just Shoot Me'. (Most recently he had a small role in the horror flic 'The Devil’s Rejects'.) I had seen Galifianakis in a few things and I am sorry to say I missed his late night show. I also saw a couple of interviews with Oswalt and thought he seemed pretty clever but had not seen much else of his work and I had not heard of Bamford.

After having sat through 'The Comedians of Comedy' I am now a big fan of all four of the comics (although I already dug Posehn.) The documentary intercuts stand up footage of the comics with footage of the four traveling on the road talking about comedy and their lives. The premise for the 'The Comedians of Comedy' is sort of summed up by Oswalt when he makes an appearance on a radio talk show. Basically the tour focuses on the comics hitting places that are not generally known for having comedians. The idea is to tap into fans that say, don’t necessarily buy advance tickets for a night out at a comedy club.

By hitting smaller, more open venues they hope to hit on younger and possibly more dedicated fans who will follow the tour. The idea is that comedians change and fine tune their acts like musicians or any other artist really. To paraphrase Oswalt: “Following comedians can be just as rewarding as following musicians, as they experiment and work on their acts.” It is something that probably sounds obvious but frankly, to promoters it does not seem to be. Locking comedians into comedy clubs and one act specials often ties them into an older audience that closes out younger fans or at the very least creates a bit of a barrier between them.

There is nothing particularly revolutionary about 'The Comedians of Comedy' but there is a lot of funny material and some interesting background stories. They have several horror stories to tell of acts that bombed and venues that didn’t seem to really want comedians to perform. I would have liked a bit more biographical info on the four leads and a bit more of their thoughts on doing the tour but overall this is an enjoyable, profanity laced, flic.

I am going to go ahead and say that I am probably not too far from the target audience for this type of movie. I’m in my mid 20s, pretty dorky, and I used to read comics. Oswalt and Posehn have a particularly funny outing at a comic book store. I really enjoyed this movie and hope that it gets a wider release. Aside from the above minor gripes the only other thing that the documentary really lacks is more on how the comedians change up and refine their acts. Another minor quip is the opening jokes that Oswalt does are a bit jarring and don’t seem like the best to intercut with the opening backstage footage. Highly recommended.

DVD = ***

The Look
The transfer is just a so-so fullscreen transfer. It never really bothered me but some may not like the stripped down look of 'The Comedians of Comedy'. I actually liked it. The film is presented fullscreen.

The Sound
This has a 2.0 stereo mix that does the job but is not gonna’ do much if you plan on watching it with the surround sound on at home. Dialogue was always easy to hear (which is a good thing since this is a stand up tour.) Unfortunately there are no subtitles.

The Bonus
There are some extra features here to be seen... A selection of three funny deleted scenes start off the extras. (The mayonnaise one was freaking hilarious and disgusting all at once.) The making of the Most Independent Movie Ever is a short film about Galifianakis setting up his chair gag. It is pretty funny in its own right, especially Galifianakis bemoaning his lost TV show. Rehearsal Tour is what I believe sold Netflix on the film and is a funny short version of 'The Comedians of Comedy'. It is worth checking out for the way Galifianakis deals with a heckler and the way Oswalt deals with a passed out man. 'The Comedians to pay Attention' to is a selection of clips of different comedians acts. I had not heard of any of them and for the most part they all seemed pretty darn funny.

All Together = ***
This is a funny, often profanity laced documentary looking at four very talented comedians on the road. The bad news as I have said is that it can be hard to get a hold of. Right now it would seem Netflix and Showtime (if it is still on) are the only places to grab this one. I say check it out and if you dig it check out the TV show if you can find the episodes. Highly recommended for fans of the comics, the curious may want to try renting first.


'The Comedians of Comedy' Links:


Copyright 2005 - 2012 Nate Bundy. All rights reserved.