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Thou Shalt Laugh (2006)

Video  -  Comedy  -  7 November 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 140 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 1 critic

Seven of the funniest Christian Comedians on earth, and hosted by two-time Emmy Award winner, Patricia Heaton.


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Title: Thou Shalt Laugh (Video 2006)

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Credited cast:
Jeff Allen ...
Himself - Comedian
Gilbert Esquivel ...
Himself - Comedian
Herself - Host
Teresa Roberts Logan ...
Herself - Comedian
Taylor Mason ...
Himself - Comedian
Michael Jr. ...
Himself - Comedian
Thor Ramsey ...
Himself - Comedian
Joby Saad ...
Himself - Comedian


Seven of the funniest Christian Comedians on earth, and hosted by two-time Emmy Award winner, Patricia Heaton.

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Honestly, was this one of the original commandments?
6 February 2007 | by (Bookseller of the Blue Ridge) – See all my reviews

When one chooses to pick up a "comedy" video, one hopes that laughter would be the only element pushed. One would also hope that if it were a variety program such as this, that the host would further gel everything together providing us with even more laughter and moments of enjoyment. That is not the case with Thou Shalt Laugh. Everything, I repeat, everything was placed in a bizarro blender and cheaply served on paper plates. The humor, from every comedian that decided to walk upon the stage, was horrid. I found myself laughing at none of the jokes -- I was unable to relate (spiritually or otherwise) to the entire gist of the program. I was at a loss with the cheap designs, the ill planned introductions by Heaton (who obviously read the cue cards and collected her paycheck), and the boredom felt by both the audience and performers. Michael Jr. is a prime example of feeling out of place, giving us a feeling of being out of place, and how the camera just seemed to linger on him even further ... thus leading further into the errors of this program. Fairness.

Fairness needs to be present when doing a film of this nature. The audience will respect the program further if each comic has the same amount of time and material. To me, and probably to others, it looks bad when one comic is allowed twenty minutes, while the next is only allowed five. Obviously director Cooke saw that the talent wasn't as strong as he liked so he cut others off, while demonstrating favoritism to the others. Boasting the next Blue Collar crew, Cooke tries -- too hard -- to reenact that same environment and sensation, but instead of transforming a bunch of unknowns into superstardom, he falls flat on his face. What made Blue Collar work was the fact that it was headlined by one already established comedian, and then two (JUST TWO) smaller ones. That allowed us to get to know the comedians, to get comfortable with their rhythm and style, before making a judgment. Alas, that was not the case here. The viewers are bombarded with one comedian after the next without any sign of acceptance or enjoyment. Sure, there are the cliché images of those viewers laughing, but Cooke tries to out do us yet again by only showing the same three people in a nonconsecutive loop. Eventually, I found myself smiling at the fact that I recognized the same old audience members, and felt more of a connection to them than to the actual comedians. Again, this was just another breaking point to an already blunderous ordeal.

I think where this film utterly failed was that it boasted the greatest and sub-performed with the follow-through. One of the taglines to this film was, "seven of the funniest Christian comedians on Earth", so with that said, laughter was to follow. Blue Collar was funny because a full range of audience members could relate. If you were not a redneck, sipping your Miller Lite from a koozie with your favorite Segar album boldly printed on the foam, than you at least knew someone that fit the mold. That element is where Thou Shalt Laugh missed the mark. It didn't appeal to a general audience. There was no profanity in the delivery of the jokes, the overall tone of the film was G at best, but there just seemed to be something lacking. From a puzzle perspective, things didn't fit together at all from the beginning to end. The host was a distraction from the main attraction which boasted big stars of which could not deliver. It was sad moment for Christian comedy, not because they didn't try (because they did), but because it was horribly constructed, falsely delivered, and held together with the worst cohesiveness possible, unfunny jokes.

Overall, anyone can tell a clean joke – but should they be considered a Christian comedian? I think these comedians could have taken it to the next level, but instead (staying on par with the theme of the film), they performed below average and watched as unsuspecting audience members uttered forced laughter and painful responses. Nothing in this direct-to-video release worked. Heaton was a waste of money and talent, Cooke's direction was horrid – almost to the point of "home-movie-ish", and the comedians – as I repeat again – just were not funny. I would think that would need to be a big element to this film, but alas, it was not. I do not suggest this film to anyone, unless you are in desperate need of a good night's sleep. I applaud Christian comics, but I believe what was demonstrated here was utter blasphemy.

Grade: * out of *****

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