Image Entertainment presents
The Comedians of Comedy: Live at the Troubadour (2007)
“What did I think of doing with a time machine? I would go back to the summer of ’93…like 1993…and I would kill George Lucas with a shovel.”- Patton Oswalt
Stars: Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Maria Bamford, Zach Galifianakis
Other Stars: David Cross, Sarah Silverman, Blaine Capatch, Jon Benjamin, Jasper Redd, Andy Kindler, Morgan Murphy, Doug Benson, Dana Gould, Eugene Mirman
Director: Chad Callner
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (strong adult language and subject matter)
Run Time: 02h:14m:36s
Release Date: 2007-10-02
DVD ReviewPatton Oswalt, who many of you know as the lead voice in Ratatouille, crafted the ultimate in comedic “super groups” a few years ago. Dubbed “The Comedians of Comedy,” Oswalt’s outfit has been touring comedy clubs and small theaters, bringing their amazing brand of witty, intelligent humor to venues across the country. After a successful feature-length movie that blended on-stage footage with candid looks at the troupe on the road, we get another look at them in the new DVD, The Comedians of Comedy: Live at The Troubadour. Oswalt, a pioneer of Alternative Comedy is one of 14 comedians to grace the stage during this two-hour-plus show, which is a great showcase for what sharp, edgy, and most-importantly original comedy is all about.
During a magical, hilarious night at Los Angeles’ famous Troubadour, Oswalt brought his band of merry men and women to the stage. The variety of subject matter bandied about varies greatly from comedian to comedian. Whether it’s Maria Bamford morphing her shrill “normal” voice into seemingly whomever or whatever she wants, Sarah Silverman being raunchier than ever, or Brian Posehn talking about how much he loves to smoke marijuana, you won’t know what to expect from each of these 14 funny people.
While it’s beyond great to see all of these comedians perform, it’s too bad the individual sets are so short. It’s understandable that some of the lesser-known participants would be limited to sets under 10 minutes, but when the core “Comedians of Comedy” aren’t granted even that much time, it’s disappointing. Even more disheartening is that it becomes evident from the editing that those who were actually in attendance got to see longer performances than we do, which means perhaps a 2-disc set was in order. Still, any further exposure for the funniest band of comedians around is a plus in today’s cookie-cutter mainstream comedy market.
While everyone is quite good, there is simply no comparison to the comedic genius that is Zach Galifianakis, a notion that is clearly on display during his all-too-brief performance here. When this man sits at a piano, he creates music that I guarantee you’ve never heard before. His piano-playing is basic, but it does the job of mesmerizing us into believing the next things that come out of his mouth will perhaps be somewhat “normal.” Fat chance of that, though, as his musings are the furthest thing from predictable that you’ll ever find. Plus, we’re even treated to an appearance by his “brother,” Seth, during which he has a hard time staying in character.
As it always does, the night belongs to David Cross, who actually gets a bit more stage time than the others, thanks to an extended bit with Jon Benjamin. The best comedian in the business is currently slumming it in Alvin and the Chipmunks, but if success in mainstream films lead to more indie work like he does here, than more power to D.C. Live at The Troubadour is far from The Comedians of Comedy at their best, but if you don’t know what they’re all about then this serves as a nice introductory piece. Once the uninitiated have this under their belt, a peek at one of their other DVDs or, better yet, catching them live, should be next on the agenda.
Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A-
|Aspect Ratio||1.78:1 - Widescreen|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: This 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation features plenty of sharp, detailed images that never suffer from sharpness or edge enhancement. Colors are vibrant, while black and shadow levels hold up amid the trickiness of indoor venue lighting. There’s only a slight bit of dirt and grain, and nothing that’s overly annoying.
Image Transfer Grade: B+
Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio is unspectacular, but suits the live performances just fine. The surrounds accommodate the crowd noise and applause, but all of these comedians’ jokes and stories are crystal clear and never overcome by other sound elements.
Audio Transfer Grade: B
Disc ExtrasStatic menu
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
4 Deleted Scenes
Packaging: Keep Case
Extras Review: The extras include the three-minute Backstage “The Green Room” which is a candid look at what the comedians get into while offstage. The Troubadour Story is two-and-a-half minutes of discussion with Troubadour Historian Brian Smith, who reflects on the venue’s history and why having The Comedians of Comedy there makes sense.
We also get four deleted scenes that include short interviews with some of the fans in attendance at the show.
Extras Grade: B-
Final CommentsThe Comedians of Comedy: Live at The Troubadour is a sprawling collection of stand-up comedians that are rewriting what comedy is all about. Despite some disappointingly short sets from the best on the bill, this is still a great look at what comedy should be, i.e. not Dane Cook. Image Entertainment’s disc is a strong effort, with above average audio and video and some backstage looks with additional stand-up material.
Chuck Aliaga 2008-01-11