Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Comedians of Comedy

I pretty much go through the entire month of December feeling like there is an anvil hanging from a fraying rope right over my head. Deck the halls, and all that f*ckin' falalalala...

Forgive the pseudo-profanity. It' s just that I heard more of the "f" word last night than I probably have in the past ten years. All while watching the DVD, "The Comedians of Comedy."

Oh yeah, and I laughed my butt off along the way. A well needed escape from the holiday-prep hysteria.

I believe this DVD may only be available for rental from Netflix. And because I'm not only stressed, but I'm also lazy, here is their summary:

"A crew of documentary filmmakers follows stand-up veteran Patton Oswalt (of "King of Queens" fame) and fellow "alternative comics" Brain Posehn and Maria Bamford on the Comedians of Comedy Tour. Along with clips of performances, the film offers a behind-the-scenes look at the comedians and the challenges of presenting material that's not necessarily "masses-friendly" and of playing rock clubs and indie venues rather than the usual comedy clubs."

What this Netflix blurb doesn't tell you is that there a heaping helping of male nudity in this little documentary. All for comic effect -- but evidently it haunted me enough to inspire a rather frightening dream last night that I would rather not go into at this point...

I was not particularly familiar with any of these comics before. Patton Oswalt is especially hilarious (and you get the impression that perhaps he is the least, um, unbalanced of the bunch.)

Not to infer that Brian Posehn isn't also extremely funny. He is.

Mixed feelings about Maria Bamford -- although her standup was amusing, she creeped me out more than made me laugh. Her act revolves around impressions...the novelty is that her "normal" voice is this high-pitched cartoony voice, and her impressions are conventionally voiced women. But all I could think was, "If you can talk in a normal voice, why don't you?"

Another comic, Zach Galifianakis, joins the trio for a good part of the film. He's probably the most avant garde in his comedic approach -- although he's not above fart humor.

The film focuses more on behind-the-scenes than standup. There are comic book runs, bad radio interviews, and the comics' attempts to crack each other up. More than anything, the film exposes the monotony and lack of glamour in life on the road.

One MUST watch the extra features -- some funny stuff buried in here -- especially one entitled something like "The Mayonaisse Incident." Yes, these are some very seriously disturbed mfs.

Michael Penn scored this film -- providing incidental music (very effectively -- especially in an arcade scene.) And his version of "Down By the Riverside" plays in part during the film and in full through the credits (and continues after the credits end -- with a completely black screen, which was a bit bizarre, but seemed to be done out of respect for his music.) It's a lovely, updated version of the song, which underscores several of the film's themes.

This song is contained on an EP "Cinemascope," a compilation of Mr. Penn's soundtrack work, which was packaged with the CD "Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947" as a Border's exclusive. I have no idea if it's currently available retail.

Oh, just discovered Comedians of Comedy is currently on Showtime (that link will show you when it's airing...) Of course, you won't get the extra DVD features if you go this route.

There's also a series based on the movie on Comedy Central. Must do my best to catch it...

Now, I just have to get the mental picture of a nude Brian Posehn out of my head. ASAP.


At December 06, 2005 11:36 PM, Blogger Spencer said...

Another Michael movie I haven't seen. He actually sent me Melvin goes to dinner and I haven't watched it yet. Bad me.

At December 07, 2005 12:29 AM, Blogger Cyn said...

If I recall properly, that one pretty much starts out with a sex scene...enough motivation for you?

(Oh, it's a very interesting movie too -- slightly contrived plot, very talky, but never boring.)

At December 07, 2005 9:35 AM, Blogger radiocynic said...

I'm not exactly sure what this says about me, but I don't even recall any sex scenes in that movie at all; only a bunch of interesting dialougue.

Nonetheless, I'll second the recommendation for both of these films. Melvin was a cool movie overall, and Michael's score really clicked, especially the sudden entry of the end title theme (I think it was "Phyrogiants".) Very memorable for some reason.

At December 17, 2005 2:07 PM, Blogger Matthew Sterling said...

I got a comment in my blog from Cyn (I didn't know comments were even possible) because I dropped Michael Penn and Jellyfish references in my ramblings. C.O.C. is a great movie (the TV show on Comedy Central is even better). I'm a huge fan of MP, have some radio appearances and stuff like that if anyone ever wants to trade...


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