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Ms. Lampanelli sadly mistakes abusing her audience for comedy. There is certainly nothing wrong with giving the crowd a hard time; indeed, Bill Hicks, Richard Pryor, Don Rickles and a wide variety of more talented comics were adept at it, but were always willing to take a shot at themselves to sort of 'even the score,' or at least made the audience feel like there was a point to the abuse. Lampanelli never finds this delicate balance. She comes off as hostile and entitled, accosting people who paid good money to see her and who seem to love her rancor. Guess you have to be there...
But, perhaps sadder than the weak shock value of rampant racism and the puerile attempts at "laugh at the stereotype" jokes (which Sarah Silverman has shown CAN be funny) is the absolute lack of humor in the show. Long Live the Queen is not shocking, not original, and, most importantly, really, really not funny at all. I debated whether this was because of some lack of sense of humor on my part, but honestly, after giving it some thought, I don't think that's the case. However, I freely admit I don't 'get' the Howard Stern freak show, so, maybe there's something there I'm missing...Stern's a talented guy, but I'm always a little lost with the whole fame-by-proxy that some of his frequent guests seem to enjoy...but I digress...
In the end, Lampanelli is perhaps just better as a target than a weapon (Greg Geraldo and Nick DiPaolo have eviscerated her on a number of celebrity roasts), and I wouldn't anticipate a second HBO special for her.
Disappointing. There are so few female comics making noise worth listening to these days, and between that big chested aberration who won Last Comic Standing last year, and Lampanelli's "opus", it doesn't look like Kathy Griffin is going to have trouble finding work for a while. Understand, I don't object at all to comics testing the boundaries of appropriateness. That's fine. I love Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Andy Kauffman, Redd Foxx, etc. But controversy and a few swear words doesn't automatically equal funny and this special was a sad example of this concept.
Jackass Number Two (2006)
A triumphant return...
Let's face it: Jackass isn't for everyone. Honestly, that's part of its charm. While studios usually bend over backwards to produce films that will appeal to the maximum number of people, the producers of Jackass: Number Two fearlessly pushes things over the edge.
Although it may be redundant to say so, if you didn't like the first Jackass movie or the television program...this movie is not going to change your mind. Please, go see something else...in a theater where you won't be able to hear people in Jackass laughing and groaning.
The same cast of characters are here (with only the insidiously funny Chris Raab missing), and this time around the stunts are way, way more intense. Where Jackass One had a few segments that made you wince, Number Two will have you wondering if these guys were really out to kill each other or not. It really isn't any worse than some of the stuff on the CKY videos or Steve-O's DVD's, but there will be a few surprises for those of you who haven't seen these. The boys REALLY, REALLY push the 'R' rating. REALLY.
As an aside, I honestly can't imagine why Number Three wouldn't be forthcoming if the release is even moderately successful. There were numerous cuts from this movie shown in previews and TV specials. Who knows? Let's keep our fingers crossed!