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David Cross: The Pride Is Back (1999)

Comedian David Cross hits the stage with this stand-up special. The co-star of HBO's cult comedy series 'Mr. Show With Bob and David,' Cross promises to skewer anything and everything in ... See full summary »

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Comedian David Cross hits the stage with this stand-up special. The co-star of HBO's cult comedy series 'Mr. Show With Bob and David,' Cross promises to skewer anything and everything in this performance taped live at the Show Box Theater in Seattle. Written by Anonymous

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18 September 1999 (USA)  »

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Not his strongest show but Cross is intelligent and draws laughs from his opinions, not his opinions from what is funny
11 September 2008 | by See all my reviews

In this HBO special David Cross is busying lying his way into the affections of his date when a fan approaches and asks him to maybe sign something for her boyfriend, or maybe come over and say hello or, maybe, just pop over and do an hour-long stand-up bit. Keen to have his date see him as generous and thoughtful, Cross goes over but finds himself doing a gig for free.

Due to periods sitting on planes, airports and hotels staring at walls waiting for the next time I have to move this week, I have been able to catch up on some files on my Pod, including some albums and shows from David Cross. I mainly know him from his brilliant turn in Arrested Development so I was curious to see what he was like with his own material. The answer is that he is just as funny, but in a different way. Like most comedians, Cross's humour is very observational in nature but the thing that makes him so good is that he is never "so what's the deal with" or "have you noticed" etc.

Instead he is very sharp, inventive and intelligent. The Pride is Back is not the best example of this (I think "It's Not Funny" or "you F**king Baby" are better) but it is still very funny. He covers topics including foetal tissue research, pornography, airport art and others, all under a sort of constant scepticism of religion, Christianity in particular. What he is very good at is not just using topics for comedy but actually managing to convey an interest and opinion that he is putting forward and then drawing the laughs from that. In a way it is similar to the reason I like Bill Hicks, even though I do not find him hilarious but rather just enjoy the way the discourse is interesting and funny at the same time.

With Cross it works very well and the result is a fresh and funny show. Some of his topics could have been stronger (in particular I thought his attack on James Lipton was too "easy" for him) but it is still very good even if the couple of more recent shows I have heard are a lot stronger due to the base of politics and religion that drives those shows.


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