Armed with a large mallet, a Hawaiian shirt, and a table full of slatterpaint-worthy food condiments in Tropic of Gallagher, it's clear Gallagher hasn't shifted his antics much in the past 20+ years.
Sure, he's grown older and less agile, but he still carries the same happy-go-lucky persona that makes him a joy to see in person. In person is the operative phrase here. After seeing some of his stand-up routines from the 80s on Comedy Central, it's obvious that the crowd gets more washed over with his comedic style, pun intended. While still quite entertaining and chuckle worthy to see, it doesn't compare to the experience of seeing him live with a yellow or clear tarp protecting your clothes from the "hilarity" of the Sledge-o-Matic.
Tropic of Gallagher doesn't stray much from this formula. It's an hour long assembly of edited clips from one of his shows (wedged in between very awkward computer animations that suck away the mood from the performance), presumably during a birthday celebration. Ranging from parodies on products and celebrities to poking fun at his own jokes from the past, he makes ample use of the audience as his puppets and his table of goodies as his lathering paint to coat them. Plus, he's got a wicked adoration for furry costumes and, more importantly, him and his fans dressed in them. When he's not roping in audience members with his antics, Gallagher stands back and verbalizes his goofy, yet sharply critical, insight on the world's lunacy that hasn't faded in brightness over the years.
His insight hasn't, but his vivacity has. There's still plenty of oomph behind ole' Gallagher, but he's not the aggressive, bubbly stage-strutter he was in previous years. There was a time when he resembled a wildly animated cartoon bouncing all over his designated performing area. Now, he's more concrete in movement, stiff and grounded but still solid. The most important fact is this: it's pretty much the same Gallagher. Therefore, if you've seen a Gallagher performance on television, then you'll know what to expect on Tropic of Gallagher.
Loud, screeching Gallagher belts out goofball jokes, most of them on the mark while others might fizzle depending on the age of the crowd. Gauging by most of the participants, this audience ranges in age between late teens to possibly late twenties. It's all build-up, foreplay even, leading up to the grand finale that everyone comes armed and ready to enjoy: Gallagher's Sledge-O-Matic. Gallagher, at times during this performance, seems like he's even treading water with the audience until this point. Everything leading up to his signature trouncing is still entertaining, but packs in almost like filler in preparation for the world-famous splattering that Gallagher's made a name for himself with.
Will you see something of Gallagher you've never seen in Tropic of Gallagher? Though I haven't viewed an overabundance of his performances, I'd be willing to venture a guess and say that any experience with Gallagher in the past will either barely match or surpass. However, if you're a fan of all things Gallagher, there's probably plenty in this performance that you'll take to heart and find enjoyment in.
Kultur and Standing Room Only Entertainment present Tropic of Gallagher in a standard keepcase DVD with colorful coverart, chapter listing and discart.
Presented in a full-screen presentation, Tropic of Gallagher resembles a tape filmed on a home video camera. The image is muddy and lacking much definition, but it's fairly serviceable for the chore. You can make out most of the details and such from the performance, but it's not much to get excited about.
The Dolby 2.0 stereo presentation isn't much to hear, either. Gallagher's voice is predominately crisp and clean, but still pops and fizzles sporadically through the weak track. Plus, the crazy sounds during the computer generations rattle the speakers in a fairly ugly manner. This audio is neither terribly good nor terribly bad.
Nothing, except for a Scene Selection screen.
Gallagher's performances harness much more enjoyment when in person. However, you'll still get a charge or two out of seeing and hearing his antics on video. Tropic of Gallagher isn't nearly as strong as his past displays, but it still worth a watch once. For die-hard fans of Gallagher, this comes mildly recommended for the pure enjoyment of owning another of his screwball stage deliveries. However, for anyone who's either seen Gallagher once or never at all, definitely Rent this disc then seek out some of his other more enjoyable performances.
Thomas Spurlin, Staff Reviewer -- DVDTalk Reviews | Personal Blog/Site