As soon as president-elect Barack Obama had finished his acceptance speech, pundits of all stripes began to wonder aloud, "What will happen to comedy once the gold mine that is George W. Bush leaves office?" It's a fair question and one that is arguably being asked too soon. While Obama and his Vice President-elect Joe Biden will doubtless do something worthy of mockery sooner or later, there are many, many comics who've used the two-term presidency of George W. Bush as a steady stream of inspiration.
To that end, Comedy Central -- which has provided a platform for many of the funny folks taking shots at the Bush administration -- has pulled together a compilation DVD that doesn't have too much focus beyond simply taking swings at the outgoing president. While most of the included footage is available elsewhere, it is, if nothing else, a concise glimpse at the range and hostility of opinions about Bush's time in office. Here's what included on the disc:
South Park: An Oct. 11, 2006 episode titled "Mystery of the Urinal Deuce," which deals with Cartman's obsession with 9/11 conspiracies, an appearance by the not-so-ambiguously-gay duo the Hardly Boys and a parody of Vice President Dick Cheney's infamous hunting accident. President Bush makes an appearance to admit to Cartman (and the rest of the gang) that, yes, 9/11 was, in fact, a conspiracy.
Lil' Bush: The June 13, 2007 series premiere (titled "Iraq/First Kiss") finds the titular lil' president traveling to Iraq with his pals (Lil' Rummy, Lil' Cheney and Lil' Condi) to find some good news for his father for Father's Day. The second half of the episode deals with Lil' Bush betting his friends that he'll get a first kiss before they will.
That's My Bush!: Another series premiere, broadcast way back on June 4, 2001, titled "An Aborted Dinner Date," features Timothy Bottoms as the bumbling president (the Trey Parker/Matt Stone production was reportedly all set to mock whichever candidate won the 2000 election; it never caught on and was canceled after eight episodes) who has to juggle a dinner date with first lady Laura and a dinner concerning abortion rights.
Lewis Black's The Root of All Evil: Comedians Greg Giraldo and Patton Oswalt face off in an April 9, 2008 episode titled "Paris Hilton vs. Dick Cheney." In keeping with the show's format, Giraldo and Oswalt each provide ample evidence as to why Hilton and Cheney are, in fact, the root of all evil.
Comedy Central's Last Laugh 2007: A pair of clips from this year-ending show, includes an animated sequence focused on the "Last Laugh Squad" (Lewis Black, D.L. Hughley and Dave Attell) and a vicious monologue from Black.
Comedy Central's Last Laugh 2006: A trio of comics -- Lewis Black, Greg Giraldo and Patton Oswalt -- hold forth on various aspects of George W. Bush's presidency.
Mind of Mencia: Comedian Carlos Mencia anchors this clip from his sketch show, pretending to be a Mexican newscaster from the year 2026 describing George W. Bush 10th anniversary as the president of Iraq.
Comedy Central Presents: Frank Caliendo: Last but not least, the gifted impressionist takes time out from his routine to deliver a pretty amusing riff on Bush's penchant for malapropisms and his scrunched-up facial expressions.
All the episodes and segments are accessible individually or playable all together for an aggregate of one hour, 42 minutes.
Presented as originally broadcast on Comedy Central, all eight episodes and/or segments are offered up in 1.33:1 fullscreen, with no apparent damage or distracting visual flaws. Quality varies depending upon the source (the South Park episode isn't quite as strong as the filmed programs, for example), but overall, it's a fine-looking disc.
Again, as originally broadcast on Comedy Central, these Bush-centric episodes and segments are presented on DVD with Dolby 2.0 stereo soundtracks. Dialogue and score are heard clearly, free from distortion or drop-out, and while laugh tracks can occasionally come on a bit too strongly, there isn't much too complain about in the audio department. Additionally, most of the bits here are censored, if foul language pops up, although there is some profanity that escapes unbleeped.
Two Comedy Central "quickies" -- a two minute, 31 second clip from "The Daily Show" and a two minute, nine second clip from "The Colbert Report" -- along with a fold-out poster are the only bonuses.
Comedy Central -- which has provided a platform for many of the funny folks taking shots at the George W. Bush administration -- has pulled together a compilation DVD that doesn't have too much focus beyond simply taking swings at the outgoing president. While most of the included footage is available elsewhere, it is, if nothing else, a concise glimpse at the range and hostility of opinions about Bush's time in office. Recommended.