The cover of this DVD is slightly misleading, with Jimmy Dore's mouth taped over and the allegation that this is going to be a scandalously profane comedy routine. I'm happy to say that it is actually one of the least-laden with gratuitous swearing stand up DVDs I've had the pleasure of seeing recently, and, even more to the point, it's scabrously funny throughout.
The DVD offers a pretty short (about 51 minutes) routine that premieres August 1 on Comedy Central (plus a little "encore" that I'm not sure will air--we'll have to see), with Dore riffing on everything from marijuana usage (he makes no bones about being a regular toker) to George Bush's "war on terror." In fact one of the funnier callbacks Dore utilizes throughout his routine is a frequent outburst of "terror, terror, gay marriage, terror," at various unexpected times, all in Bush's distinctive quasi-Texan dialect. I have to say Dore won me over immediately with his first jokes, about watching TBN's "Jan", with her bizarrely pink bouffant hairdo, while he was stoned out of his mind. I have long turned to TBN for "performance art" comedy (as unintended as it might be) and loved hearing Dore riff on this peculiar little corner of Americana.
Dore offers a fine observational style blended with an unassuming and, dare I say, sweet delivery, all wrapped up in a face that is seemingly made of some unknown rubbery substance that is able to assume any shape imaginable at any given moment. His facial expressions and off the cuff delivery make even borderline jokes laugh out loud funny, and when he really hits the bullseye, as he does in his critique of homophobic homosexuals (think Larry Craig and Ted Haggard), there's no way you won't at least be chuckling if not outright laughing heartily.
The concert performance is pretty minimally staged (as is the norm), with Dore out on a little thrust built off of the main stage, putting him in arm's reach of the first row of seats. The audience (with the exception of one flannel-shirted dude in the first row, who seems to be comatose for most of the routine) is wildly responsive, and suitably so. They're obviously having a blast, and you will, too, if you enjoy finely wrought standup that doesn't rely on gimmicks to achieve its punchlines. Dore is my new favorite standup comedian, and I hope this is the first of many Comedy Central DVDs to come.
The enhanced 1.78:1 image is sharp and well detailed, with excellent color, contrast and saturation. There is a noticable dearth of the sweeping crane shots that seem to dot a lot of these Comedy Central outings, which is fine in my book.
There are some minor audio issues in both the 5.1 and 2.0 soundtracks. You'll note an unpleasant metallic distortion for the first part of the special, which miraculously clears at about the 11 minute mark, but which reoccurs several minutes later. It's not too distracting, but those with sensitive hearing will probably notice it right away.
None are offered.
Dore is an incredibly appealing, very funny comic and deserves to be better known. Hopefully, the upcoming Comedy Central special and this DVD will help in that endeavour.
"G-d made stars galore" & "Hey, what kind of a crappy fortune is this?" ZMK, modern prophet