"DAVID CROSS:
BIGGER AND BLACKERER"
DVD Review
by Kevin Carr


    MOVIE: **** (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5 stars)

    Not Rated
    Studio: Sub Pop Records

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WHAT ITíS ABOUT
Edgy hipster comic (and I call him that because I know it would irritate him) David Cross shows his true face in his latest comedy special ďDavid Cross: Bigger and Blackerer.Ē Using his biting and sarcastic wit, Cross takes on subjects like the mentally challenged and other handicapable folks (or rather the people around them), tea baggers, inappropriate conversations and his favorite subject of all... religion. You will probably be offended by something he says, but thatís the point, isnít it?

WHAT I LIKED
While I may not agree with everything that David Cross says, I contend that he is one of the funniest comics working today. He doesnít just say things to offend people, although that will happen. He puts some thought behind what he says. From the title of this release alone (a send-up of a famous Chris Rock comedy special), you know youíre in for some crazy shit.

But not only does Cross deliver the comedy in this release, he draws outside the lines. Itís not as free-thinking as his groundbreaking, ahead-of-its-time and laugh-out-loud-funny television show ďMr. Show with Bob and David,Ē but itís a start. Instead of just telling jokes on stage, he uses some plants in the audience to take us into sketch territory. Part Andy Kaufman self-awareness, he takes on sign language interpreters and bloggers (at least he does in the bonus material).

Even if you disagree with Crossís take on some aspect of our society, his jokes will make you think. And as political a person as he is, he manages to not pander to his own side of the aisle but still talk about some hard-hitting issues.

WHAT I DIDNíT LIKE
I could rattle off a few of Crossís jokes and gags that rubbed me the wrong way, but why bother? Thatís the point. If you watch this DVD and donít take issue with something, thereís a problem. Iíll be that even Cross irks himself from time to time.

Otherwise, itís one of the better stand-up specials Iíve seen in a while.

DVD FEATURES
ďDavid Cross: Bigger and BlackererĒ comes with a slate of older and specially performed bits that you wonít see elsewhere. Thereís no behind the scenes, but you get to see some choice bits that would have otherwise hit the cutting room floor... and they are actually pretty funny.

Additionally, the DVD is packaged with a concert poster, suitable for framing and wet, hot dorm room action.

WHOíS GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
People who like biting stand-up comedy and donít mind getting offended.



"THE JEFF DUNHAM SHOW"
DVD Review
by Kevin Carr


    MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5 stars)

    Not Rated
    Studio: Comedy Central

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WHAT ITíS ABOUT
The wildly popular ventriloquist comedian Jeff Dunham gets a short season for his chance at a Comedy Central TV series. Instead of just standing on the stage with his rogueís gallery of puppets, Dunham lets the characters of Walter, Peanut, Sweet Daddy Dee, Bubba J, Jose Jalapeno and Achmed the Dead Terrorist out of the box, where they perform various off-site sketches.

WHAT I LIKED
Despite the knocks that Dunham has suffered over the year, most vocally from the hilarious folks at ďMystery-Science Theater 3000,Ē I have enjoyed his comedy. Mind you, I donít love love love it the way my brother-in-law and his family does. (Honestly, how many times can they watch those stand-up specials on DVD?) But I remember watching this guy when I was in college before anyone knew what a Woozle was, and I laughed a lot.

I applaud any attempt to do a comedy series that goes beyond standard performances on a stage. It was nice to see Dunham thinking beyond his own stand-up to put his puppets into the real world. The sketch comedy was a bit rocky, but I thought the concept was sound.

Plus, I am a huge fan of politically incorrect humor, and Dunham delivers that with almost every gag in the show. His cartoonish take on stereotypes of everyone from terrorists to protected minority groups just makes me giggle... especially when these groups complain. After all, they have no problem with Bubba J as a white trash stereotype. Why not have some fun with all stereotypes.

Ventriloquist dummies get away with a lot because itís hard to hate a puppet. But as a comedian, Dunham will be remembered for challenging societal taboos in a society that has their assholes too tight in the first place.

WHAT I DIDNíT LIKE
With all that said, ďThe Jeff Dunham ShowĒ isnít all that great... or funny. There are some good ideas, but the puppets never quite click in the sketches. These off-the-stage moments range from the mildly funny to the awkwardly flat.

Iíd like to blame this on the fact that Dunham only had about six episodes to get things going before his series was cancelled (in spite of some pretty solid ratings). Sadly, we will never know if he could get things to gel with himself and... well, himself.

DVD FEATURES
The DVD comes with a full unaired sketch, some behind the scenes moments and a blooper reel.

WHOíS GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Jeff Dunham fans, and anyone who knows what a Woozle is and wonít be irritated by him.


    

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