Quality Balls: The David Steinberg Story (2013) Poster

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8/10
Excellent and very funny
sfdphd3 August 2014
I saw this film at the Jewish Film Festival in San Francisco. I thought it was hilarious and enjoyed it far more than I expected. I remembered David Steinberg from stand-up on Johnny Carson and the Smothers Brothers but my memories were vague. This film not only highlights David's personal story but also highlights excerpts from his comedy routines. I had forgotten how good his material was! Perhaps I didn't understand it all as a child but I certainly appreciate it now.

His significance in comedy history (and Carly Simon's music) was quite interesting. This is the kind of film that makes you want to tell your friends "Did you know.....?" They probably don't know many of the juicy tidbits you will learn in this documentary. If you like comedy and politics of the 1960's and 1970's, you will like this film...
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Glad I Didn't Heed My Expectations
mrgogonyc11 October 2014
Every time I saw this documentary listed, I would shrug and say "Well, he was funny, but I don't think I'd find this interesting." Boy, was I wrong. As a comic, David Steinberg was hilarious, insightful and more than responsible for establishing stand up as a venue for storytelling, political observation and self revelation as opposed to set ups and punchlines. And this was not an evolution. With Pryor, Carlin, Bruce, Sahl and Klein, Steinberg took this art form to a new level in quick fashion especially in the mode of challenging "proper standards".

As with any excellent documentary regarding a celebrity, the back story of Steinberg's life is deftly interwoven with anecdotes and observations from family, contemporaries and those comics whom he influenced. The clips of Steinberg's career, especially his Tonight Show appearances, are hilarious. Always good to see Johnny, especially when he is genuinely cracking up.

Steinberg's humanity and talent are finely exhibited. Plus, amazingly enough for a comic (or even a person) he doesn't seem to have a mean bone in his body.

If you have any interest in fine comedy, politically incorrect observations or taking a journey through the pop culture of the last six decades you'll be glad you watched. The first 3 minutes hooked me and was glad to take the ride to the end. Hurry, though. It leaves Showtime 10/14.
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