David Cross: Let America Laugh (2003 Video)
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"Let America Laugh" is a refreshing change from the traditional comedy/concert documentaries -- and could be more closely compared to something like Jerry Seinfeld's doc "Comedian" than any other strictly-standup-comedy-film. Don't get me wrong, there are a ton of hilarious excerpts from David's comedy tour, but it also paints a good picture of the man himself, all the while entertaining and showing exactly what can happen behind the scenes of a national tour. The characters they meet range from the late-night drunk and the seemingly brain-dead crack-head to the most sincere and prophetic, some speaking very eloquently and surprisingly profoundly.
Not only did I laugh my ass off dozens of times throughout, but I also almost cried for David at a couple points in the film. There were emotional HIs and LOs, and I feel like this movie spoke to me in many ways. The music/soundtrack throughout the film is also quite amazing and adds a great deal to the feature... playing some tracks from Ultrababyfat (the band that opened for David on the tour and has its members also featured in some of the behind the scenes footage). Fans of Mr. Show should also enjoy this film, if not for David Cross and his comedy alone, then for the scripted/staged interstitials that find David being reprimanded for going on tour by his wife & child and the hard-arse boss at his office day job.
You can usually find the DVD (a sub-pop release) for around $13.00 -- and this is a very small price to pay, considering how much hilarity is involved. The DVD is also loaded with great Easter Eggs -- which I have documented and posted in many places, including on the message board for this film.
Please give this film a chance!! You won't be disappointed.
I thought it was great. It wasn't shot by a professional, but it was a good look at Cross's life on the road. Parts were funny, others were insightful, and it was good entertainment.
If you're expecting 90 minutes of his stand-up, don't get this. It really doesn't have that much stand-up, and whatever of it is on this DVD is something with an interruption. That isn't representative of his crowd (I don't know what the reviewer above (hecklers united) was talking about, all the intellectuality blah blah blah.
This is just a great behind the scenes look. If you're a fan of David's stand up, you'll enjoy this.
9/10 - mainly because of the filming.
david cross's brand of humor is quite smart, so if you're also smart enough to get it then you will enjoy this hilarious dvd. if you're sad and boo-hooing because you think david cross is a "meanie" who "makes fun of his fans", then you just don't get it.
The photography is poor and the soundtrack weak and often difficult to understand. The people he skewers by showing their stupidity are interesting and sickeningly funny at times but to spend the amount of time he did on the clip of an absolutely abysmal interview was way beyond boring. And that scene is only one of many/most which are quite similar in quality of content.
Don't waste your time on this. You will likely feel robbed of the two hours you spent, especially after you have read this review--consider yourself warned.
Now, on to the movie itself. Very funny if not hilarious.
Anyone who believes that this is in any way serious within the first 15 minutes should turn it off and walk away, because you will only be offended.
This DVD is not recommended to people without a strong sense of humor.
Like many others, I came to Cross from Arrested Development and was really happy with what I found with his stand-up material that I saw. So my desire to consume more of his material brought me to this film with the impression that it would be a stand-up show. So OK, initially my reservations with the film can be based on the fact that I expected something from it that it did not propose to be. After this I settled into the film as an "on the road" film of Cross on tour, with as much focus on the goings-on as on the action on the stage (if not more in fact) Meeting it on these terms the film is rarely more than "OK" because it appears to lack reason or structure beyond showing the many weird characters that Cross meets as he travels. Many of these are hecklers and others are just muppets who try and befriend him whether he wants them to or not. This is never interesting enough to carry as much of the film as is dedicated to it and I tired of it long before it finished.
The stand-up stuff is likewise focused on people giving him trouble or things not going totally his way. Again this is not without value but is certainly not worth the amount of variations on it that we see. The rest of it (outside of the fictional work-place framing) is a mix of people babbling at the camera, joking around with David and so on none of it particularly interesting. All of this is hindered further by the rather grainy film and often poor sound recording which, while part of the material being what it is, doesn't make for an easy experience when you're struggling to hear what is being said.
For fans it is interesting enough to see Cross putting in work for his craft rather than living some remote form of stardom, but even they will find this film labouring that point without a lot else on offer. As others have said already, it is important that you don't judge David Cross by this film because his stand-up is much, much better than this film suggests. Let America Laugh would be an interest DVD extra if it was a lot shorter because, as a film in its own right, it doesn't do enough to justify the 90 minute running time.
Two things that have drawn me to his work were his delivery and the continued speculation on my part of `what makes this guy tick?' I never could quite figure out what was brewing behind his hilarious sarcastic jabs that make up much of his stand-up and the creativity behind Mr. Show and his other works. I always have viewed him as an intelligent, stoner type who `got it' especially evident when his work revolves around topical issues.
In `Let America Laugh' we get to see Cross interact with his traveling companions and often with a variety of typical drunken folks that you would see in Anysoutherntown, USA. These scenes are intertwined with footage of him performing his stand-up.
I don't ask for much.If just *some* of the footage could have captured his delivery, I would have been satisfied with this video. Instead, almost all of the scenes were him talking above the crowd at various venues, they mumbling and generally being rude, often heckling. Because of the constant crowd noise, you don't get to witness what I feel he is best at, which is the excellent timing that makes up his delivery. If you intend to rent/buy this to see his stand-up act, you will not get it from this video. I was OK with that aspect of the video, I mention this because at about the halfway point, I was basically looking for ANYTHING that was entertaining. That just never happened.
I never really got to see what was behind the man. It is hard to explain what I felt of Davis Cross `the person' after viewing this. I kind of felt disappointed. like in the case where, say you have always been dazzled by some extraordinary feat and then come to discover that what you have been witnessing was trickery and not really that spectacular once you see what is behind the feat.
The video was just not funny, I honestly did not laugh once. The drunken fools were not funny, Cross wasn't especially funny, there just wasn't anything entertaining about it.it was dry, dull and empty.
Was he just playing to the camera, I don't really know. He did not come across as the same person when I saw him on "Dinner for Five", granted he made just a few comments on that show. I'm left thinking "would the real David Cross please stand up"?
Instead of laughing it's an indictment of worthless American culture, where people attempt to escape their own inarticulate thoughts via liquor. With a special exploration of mindless male recreational aggression. The sketch linking it all is about as much fun as the assinine commentary track on Blood Simple. You could shake your own camera while filming drunks and have more fun. Not worth your rental. Sad, mean-spirited and condescending.
There is some funny on this DVD but from someone as brilliantly funny as mr. cross (mostly evident in his appearances on the Favreau w*nk-a-thon Dinner For Five and A.D.) I am sorry but this is just not good enough.
NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
this DVD is NOT not not good enough...and I don't think I would even recommend it for a "waste my life" late night double feature with say a curb your enthusiasm season 2 disc 1 or the office special.
mr.'cross I'd rather hear more about your dysfunctional family life and your need to laugh and despise them publicly. The "laugh at how stupid my family is" material IS funny...digging a bit deeper would be even stronger...rather than just mentioning in passing how estranged and uncomfortable you are with your family.
Janeane Garafalo did it with darkness and honesty (and humour!) one Monday at 'eating it' and it rocked and was completely raw and angry and funny as heck.
keep your day job as TF, you rule that show...but make a better DVD next time.