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Robert Klein: Unfair and Unbalanced (2010)

TV-MA | | Comedy | TV Movie 12 June 2010
Robert Klein performs in his ninth HBO stand-up special, an hour of hilarious insights plus a few memorable musical interludes.

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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Robert Klein performs in his ninth HBO stand-up special, an hour of hilarious insights plus a few memorable musical interludes.

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Comedy

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12 June 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Robert Klein: Igazságtalan és kiegyensúlyozatlan  »

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[first lines]
Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Robert Klein.
Robert Klein: Let us pray.
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Stop understanding, start talking
14 June 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Robert Klein opens his ninth HBO comedy special Unfair & Unbalanced before a packed house at the Amaturo Theater in Fort Lauderdale by opening in a bombastic manner. Choral music echoes through the room as a lanky, late-sixties Klein stands before a theater-screen-sized sign with the show's title on it. The sign lifts up to reveal a full orchestra, choreographed by Klein's longtime colleague and friend Bob Stein, and Klein bursts into song instantaneously, singing about how he hopes President elect Barack Obama will "keep his pecker in his pants" to be on his path to a successful presidency. After about four minutes of expressive singing, the energetic audience settles, the sign falls back down, and Klein begins his brand of wry, observant comedy mixed in with physical comedy and more sporadic musical interludes.

If nothing else, in only fifty-seven minutes, Klein delivers a wild and unpredictable one man show, never too vulgar or crass, but pleasantly witty in the way old stories and thoughtful musings bring smiles to well-worn faces. Klein is a veteran in the comedy field, so seeing him with his reading glasses, all black attire, and slicked-back gray hair resembling Benjamin Franklin makes him appear dignified and wise in the most unpretentious way possible. Klein's comedy is a delightful blend of Jewish slang and political ramblings, and he manages to carefully balance the physicality of comedy and the political side of the art so as never to fall too far to one side and lose the fans of the other.

Despite the special's playful title, Klein performs a tricky balancing act with his ninth show that only further shows how his age has perfected his craft. Unfair & Unbalanced is less a comedy special and more a variety show featuring one man, singing, performing, and telling jokes in his own, very natural manner. Furthermore, Klein doesn't exploit the "out of touch, old man" stereotype that he is in a grand position to overgeneralize. He doesn't pretend to be ignorant on what is currently hip or what the latest trends are; we get the feeling by his demeanor and his likable cynicism that he has never quite understood the times and his one man shows are rebellions to the very idea of trying to understand the world.

Directed by: Linda Mendoza.


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