Larry Miller has made his reputation with a series of brilliantly done character parts in movies such as "Pretty Woman", but his stand-up act is also something to see. This HBO special, filmed on stage in front of a live audience, is possibly the drollest, funniest stand-up set I have seen since the prime of Bill Cosby.
Miller is one of those comedians (like Rita Rudner) who can express more dismay and bemusement with a shrug of the shoulders and a roll of the eyes than someone like Martin Lawrence or Eddie Murphy can with a 30 second string of obscenities and an act of simulated sodomy on stage. Nothing against Lawrence or Murphy - that's just their style, and they don't do "droll" - but it's refreshing to see a comedian put his material over so smoothly without ever raising his voice or using a four letter word.
Anyway, the heart of this act is an extended description of a disastrous first attempt at skiing - it goes on for at least forty minutes, and never lags or bores. To make the Cosby comparison again, it's on a level with Cosby's famous "To Russell, My Brother Whom I Slept With". Similar to that all time classic 28 minute routine I was both exhausted with laughter and begging for mercy by the time Miller pulled into the final stretch. I was hoping it would never end, while acknowledging that all good things must end sometime.
Any fan or connoisseur of stand-up comedy ought to track down "Just Words". It will be worth any reasonable amount of effort of expense. You'll be glad you did.
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