8.23.2008

"Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show" – A Hilariously Touching Documentary


I love standup. So when I heard that Vince Vaughn was making a documentary about his 30 days on the road with comedian friends Ahmed Ahmed, Peter Billingsley (Ralphie from “A Christmas Story”), John Caparulo, Bret Ernst, Sebastian Maniscalco, Keir O’Donnell (“Wedding Crashers”), Justin Long (Mac from the Mac and PC commercials) and Jon Favreau – I immediately started looking for showings at my local movie theaters. Somehow I missed it. And I was not happy – until it showed up in my mailbox straight from NetFlix.

Pros:
- So funny! – This is a quality cast of truly funny comedians. The clips of their act are all of original bits, improv skits, songs, audience participation excersices, etc. Standup isn’t easy, and these comedians are terrific examples of the talent making the comedy club rounds.

- It’s more than comedy – there are sections of the documentary that focus specifically on each comedian. They discuss their families, the adversities they’ve overcome (ie – “being a Muslim comedian in a post 9/11 America”), gain new perspectives (part of the tour was to go through New Orleans but then Katrina hit. The guys visit a camp where hurricane victims are living and give them free tickets. They take the profits from a number of shows and donate them to the Red Cross for hurricane relief.), and other misadventures give us a peek into what it takes to be a comedian on the road as well as the gratification and frustrations that make up a career.

- Introducing… - It’s not all about Vaughn. If anything, he’s the least seen throughout the documentary (much to my dismay), but in return we are introduced to four comics on the verge of making a name for themselves. What we get are fresh jokes, fresh deliveries and really just a distinctive selection of punch lines.

Cons:
- A lack of Vaughn – Vince Vaughn, the title person of the documentary, isn’t in the film a whole lot.

- Stick with it – the beginning is a little slow. They introduce everyone and establish what the film and road show are about.

- It isn’t all standup – Don’t expect to watch 4 men’s standup routines the whole way through because that’s not the sole focus (but that’s a good thing too).

Unique Qualities:
- It’s a documentary about 5 comedians and their random friends on a bus for 30 days – that’s pretty darn unique in and of itself.

I am really impressed with the flow of the documentary and the amount of one of a kind jokes the featured comedians perform. It’s also interesting to learn more about life on the road in general and follow the guys through radio phone-in interviews, publicity appearances, nights where jokes bomb, nights of standing ovations and the celebrities they run into.


Are documentaries of this nature (ie - life as a comedian, life as a politician, life as a tightrope walker, etc) interesting? Have you seen "Wild West Comedy Show?" What did you think?


“Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.” – Frank Sinatra
So may the prayers, tranquilizers and JD be with you and see you next time.
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2 comments:

Movie said...

I was pleasantly surprised by "Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show"! As much as I love Vince Vaughn, I hadn't heard of many of the other comedians, so I wasn't sure what to expect. They were all really funny! I also enjoyed the format. It really helped the flow to show clips of performances combined with each guy's story instead of just seeing each full performance. I think learning about each of the comedians helped me appreciate their set even more.

http://www.Film-Connection.com

BloggingFun said...

Oh yeah, I totally agree! Pleasantly surprised to see some new blood on the comedy scene that's original and funny!