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|Index||17 reviews in total|
Lots of goofy fun. These guys (and 1 gal) are as funny off the stage as
they are on the stage. I've always enjoyed Patton Oswalt, and this gave
me a chance to see what he's like goofing with his friends. Even bits I
don't really find funny (or maybe don't understand) like the whole
pretending to be gay shtick, are tolerable, and the parts that are
funny are downright killer.
Patton was my favorite to start with, and I was really impressed with Zach Galifianakis. I didn't know him before I watched the show. He is extremely good at improv and he'll dare to do anything. He has an innate instinct for bringing a joke to the next level. I do wish I could spell his last name correctly, but no one could spell Arnold Schwarzennegger's name when he started out.
Maria Bamford has always annoyed me on a subcutaneous level, and the show didn't change my opinion, but some of the stuff she does is really funny. Brian is a great foil for Patton, and you can tell the two share a strong bond of friendship.
I've seen this in both episodic form on Comedy Central and in the uncut movie version on Showtime. I recommend the Showtime movie version, naturally.
Don't watch this show if the word M-F offends you, or if you're a die-hard Hannity Republican, or otherwise mentally impaired.
This movie follows the lives of 5 comedians as they tour the U.S. They share comical stories about their stage experiences along with short scripted scenes that are outrageously funny. Zach Galifianakis is one of the funniest ones on here. I saw the premiere at south by southwest film festival and have to say that it is definitely the funniest movie there. If you get a chance to see this movie i insist that you do, it had the whole audience cracking up. I hope this gets a wide release but even if it isn't soon they are still touring, and so hopefully your able to catch their live act and hopefully you'll get to see Zach Galifianakis, who only is in a few of stand up's.
if you're tired of hack comedy, the Carlos Mencias, Jeff Foxworthys, and Larry the Cable Guys of the world, then you might be open to something creative and hilarious. I defy anyone to attempt at the originality of Zach Galifianakis, both in content and delivery, the amazing undulating idiosyncratic rants of Patton Oswalt, or to be as engrossing as Maria Bamford's characters and stories can be... If you prefer tired old routines about race, married life, the predictably narrow comedy of a comedian who plays up a simple character or stereotype, then you can have your cavemannish Tim Allen, or go to the other extreme with the hyper-pretentious and unfunny Dennis Miller... But if you like creativity, not just because its different, but because it's true to the hilarious personality of the artist who it emanates from, and not just replicated bullsh!t echoing off these soundboards of a homogeneous and mediocre culture, then check out Comedians of Comedy...
I saw "The Comedians of Comedy" last month at the South by Southwest Film Festival. It was excellent. First of all, the comedians that are featured are among my favorites, and they all have a unique brand of stand-up. Each one of them is hilarious and you practically have to leave the theater to stop laughing. The film lets the audience see what they are like in their private time (i.e. buying a whole bunch of comic books every Tuesday). Patton Oswalt made a great point that people follow their favorite bands from their beginnings, but the same doesn't happen for comedians. After this movie, I think people are going to start following them a whole lot more.
Not only did I just see this movie last week, but I went to see the Portland performance shown in the movie. The movie gives a great portion of these four hilarious comedians at their best. If it's playing in your area, you should really go and see it. It will not disappoint. It's high time that a movie that takes place in Oregon shows Oregon as a great state. It's all too often that it's seen as some backwoods hick state just because crystal meth has been a beaver state staple for so long. But, I digress. See the movie; it will make you laugh so hard that you will surely come up with some crass way of describing its high potency of hilarity. The stars of the movie will inspire you to do so.
Listen to these other reviewers!! I also saw the premiere at south by southwest......it ruled. Zach Galifianakis is great. Posehn is the man. Maria Bamford is hilarious as the "straight member of the group". But Patton is the spokesman for this new generation of comedians who will carry the torch of Bill Hicks with pride and hopefully with money it deserves....SO GO SEE IT SOMEHOW. GET NETFLIX AND SEE IT LATER THIS MONTH. WATCH THE COMEDY CENTRAL SPECIAL ON Friday. THIS IS FUNNY AS HELL!! Also Sarah Silverman's movie "Jesus is Magic" (another south by movie) premiered in NY this weekend, and will be a limited release nationwide soon. The comedy is just as funny as these guys, but the big "S" is just so damn hot!! AS SOON AS THEY ARE AVAILABLE, WE ALL MUST BUY THESE MOVIES ON DVD TO SHOW ALL OF OUR FRIENDS, AND TO GIVE STAND-UP A MUCH NEEDED KICK IN THE PANTS. I'm getting' pretty sick of what I call "sit-down comedy" , you know what I'm talking about.....
There's no grand arc to The Comedians of Comedy - about as close to a
"passion project" for Patton Oswalt in 2005 as it can get (do I use
quotes around that like as if that isn't serious, eh, no, sure, I'll
use em) - but that's why it works in its way. It's a road movie
following Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Maria Bamford and, in the kind of Jack
Nicholson in Easy Rider I'm-just-gonna-steal-the-whole-show-now role,
Zach Galifianakis for parts of it, and it all rests on their
personalities. And of course being that they're in that interestingly
odd time of their lives when they're known a little more than used to
be (Posehn from Just Shoot Me, which I almost forgot about, and Oswalt
I guess from King of Queens though that's only sparsely mentioned I
imagine for obvious reasons), but not quite on the cusp of being the
Alt-Comedy Gods that they are today.
Maybe 'Gods' is the wrong word, but these are four of the most recognizable and indelible figures of stand-up in the kind that *they* do. And yes there are different kinds of comedy when it comes to stand up; this is not The Kings of Comedy for example or the Blue Collar Kings of Comedy Tour movie or whatever it was called (one of the highlights here by the way is when Posehn jokes that he almost wanted to call their tour instead of 'Comedians of Comedy' the "Martin Luther Kings of Comedy" tour), and these four people exemplify the sort that's honest, personal, sometimes political (or maybe often times), awkward, very off-the-wall approach that made alternative comedy- or are there even walls, why bother especially when Galifianakis takes over a universe that happens to be set on a stage, or when Bamford does her gobsmackingly funny voice-work.
It also works much in the way of a home movie more than a documentary. Sure, there are some little moments of revelation and looking back, like when the four share some of their videos from when they were first starting out (and still very funny! Bamford with a violin expressing failed relationships and Posehn with hair describing drug-addled parents of the 60's), or when Posehn or Oswalt or Bamford talk about the weird disturbances and things at times when on stage (not so much hecklers as they are like these funny-wild anecdotes about things that have happened, like Oswalt being asked to step aside at the start of the show so a man can embarrassingly and miserably-in-failure propose marriage to his girlfriend). But the way the thing is shot, with multiple early 00's cameras, gives it the feel of, you know, being along for the ride with a bunch of people who are obviously close friends and can be goofy and ironic and make jokes that may work or may not always work. It's like seeing a family in front of your eyes, though there's no sense they don't get along or any tension, it's not that kind of revelatory package.
Perhaps a little *too* much goofing around once can say? But then they ARE comedians and it's like a big camping trip except their camping stops are comedy clubs and being on the road and stopping at places like motels and cabins and diners and comic book shops (oh the comic book shop bit is both very charming and a little, uh, showing the obsessive side in a way I didn't expect), and so when Galifianakis and Posehn do a somewhat graphic sexual prank video one night it's both hysterically funny and hysterically weird. But then, as I mentioned, Galifiankis, in his pre-Hangover time, is most impressive here and just seems to be naturally bug-f*** crazy some of the time (though in a moment of clarity he portends to want to be in "the most independent movie ever made" which one could say happened with Birdman, but I digress).
To say that he stands out is less about Oswalt-Posehn-Bamford being rather "normal" by comparison, as the two guys are just dorky-pun-talking-sex-joke-making dudes, with Bamford as the lovable weirdo (think like if Gonzo the Great was an alternative female comic with less stunt work), and more that he simply does the things that make him stand out the most. The highlight of the documentary for me is when he is walking around San Francisco one day - he has to do his laundry and, of course, though watching someone do their laundry sounds boring as watching grass grow, if you got to see someone do their laundry it might as well be this guy - and he comes across three black guys singing on a street in harmony. He's so taken with them (they may or may not be homeless by the way) that he asks them to come to do a bit during his comedy show. They do come on and it is so impressive even Zach stands by on the stage with the sort of dumbfounded-smiling expression a jokester-kid has who thinks "I really got em this time!"
Simply seeing these comedians perform their material, which makes up a good 35/40% of the movie anyway, would be enough to recommend it as they're all so wonderful, with Oswalt especially coming into his own in the way that still makes him among the top comedians in the world (no really, he's that good). That the rest of the footage of these guys, sometimes showing some simple pleasures like playing old-school video arcade or on a radio show doing their best to explain what they *do* is fun and genuinely a curious sight to see some ten years on, past any nostalgia and on its own as a chronicle of how comedians get along when they're in such a super-friendly unit where they can all just be... themselves, to the fullest.
Now granted, comedy is subjective and everyone has their own opinion of what is funny and what is not. Personally, I found this to be a terrifically funny and entertaining look at what life on the road is like for many modern-day comedians. Patton Oswalt has always been a favorite of mine, but I very much enjoy Brian Posehn, Maria Bamford and Zach Galifianikis as well. Maybe it's because I more closely identify with them and their "off-beat" personalities, this probably stems from the fact that I've been a proud "nerd" all my life. These are people who were brave enough to stand out by simply being themselves and not trying to fit into any category or alter their personalities in order to endear themselves to a wider audience. Brian and Patton are 40- year old comic book lovers, how could you not find that refreshing? Too many people take life much too seriously and spend most of it worrying about what everyone else thinks of them, these are INDIVIDUALS who could not care less about that. The comedy in this film is not always laugh-out-loud funny, but it is not forced. It's honest and unapologetic, which is what comedy is really all about.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I thought the whole film was hilarious. I especially liked Zach and Maria Bamford. His is simply brilliant cutting-edge material. The line that is included in the IMDb site is a great sample of his great talent. Maria is so good at hitting the "everyday people", many of whom I have run across, and letting us see the hilarity in them. She is worth the viewing all on her own. I think Patton Oswalt was terrific as was Brian Posehn. Brian's take on the latest Star Wars films is fantastic and right on the money for all those who loved the originals. Patton's political humor was just plain gut-busting funny. The only problem I had with the film was that I wanted to see more "concert" footage. Especially of Maria and Zack. They really make the film!
Fans and members of the niche market that is the 'indie crowd' will probably at least know who these guys are. Most will probably recall Brian Posehn from 'Mr. Show' and Patton Oswald from 'King of Queens,' and Zach Galifinakis as the bus ticket taker in 'Bubble Boy.' And I don't know if Maria Bramford likes to act in professional settings. Anyways, many will be vaguely familiar with these personalities if you have interest in cult comedic scenes from the late nineties or if you have ever indulged in David Cross or Mr. Bob Odenkirk. Similar humor abounds, and taking a page from Cross' 'Let America Laugh' Doc, it follows these four characters through a tour of venues traditionally reserved for small rock shows. This is a taste of their humor and a window into their lifestyles. It is refreshing to see people who can progress the culture of stand up beyond the 'wacky' comedy clubs that seem to regurgitate talent whose sole aspiration is a comfy gig in the world of the sitcom. But these four are a pastiche of the work being done by a wide range of innovative comics. This film follows them on tour, and captures their spirit and outlook on life exceptionally well. While it does not saturate itself in the live performances, we are given a nice balance of performance and lifestyle that resonates well comedically and entices further interest in each one of their careers. Worth a watch.
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