Every time you think that they've covered all of the basics for Reality TV a show comes along to change your perception. We've all seen Survivor, The Apprentice, and The Amazing Race, but how many of us sat down to watch Last Comic Standing? Well, judging from the fact that the show was cancelled during its third season, I'm going to assume the answer is "not many".
Due to low ratings NBC pulled the plug on Last Comic Standing and the last episode never made it to the airwaves. If you followed the show and the contestants on it, then you probably know that Alonzo Bodden was actually the winner and scored the $250,000 prize. That's not really much of a shock really because he actually was first runner-up in the show's second season. Bodden starts out his DVD Tall, Dark, and Funny by joking about how NBC cancelled the show because they didn't want to air a black man winning the contest. It was all just a good natured ribbing but it was a great way to do an introduction for the uninitiated.
After that little jab at NBC, Bodden segues into a routine about his journey around America. He talks about being down in Florida during hurricane season with the trailer park, southern "hospitality", and picks on Iowa because it's so damned cold. Of course that's nothing compared to the fat white people in Nebraska. This part of his act is pretty funny though he doesn't spend a lot of time on the subject.
Next on the agenda for Bodden is to talk about TV. He accurate portrays Desperate Housewives as being about a bunch of white girls lying around the house all day to screw strangers. He also brings up the 2004 Superbowl "wardrobe malfunction", but to be honest at this point in the game jokes about that are pretty old hat. Of course you could say the same thing about political jokes, Bush jokes, and the war on terror (he brings up all of these). The funniest part of this was how he worked Paris Hilton into it with a bunch of talent-less drunken slut jokes.
Throughout the stand-up routine he constantly ping-pongs between topics and is always on the move. It's good because it keeps things fresh, though I can't help but feel that a little more time could have been devoted to some topics. It also appears as if Bodden gets sidetracked as he's going through his skit because he often back-peddles to previous themes. Some of his subjects also don't mesh together as well when presented back to back and leading from one topic to another.
Bodden is a fast hitting comic with a lot of jokes in his back pocket, but his big thing seems to be poking fun at racism. Well, that is he partakes in it just as much as he rips it. Nobody is safe and whether you're Black, White, Arabic, Asian, or Hispanic he has something to say about you. I particular got a kick out of his jokes about illegal immigration and how young White people are the new Black. Just keep this in mind if you are offended by stuff like that.
It's easy to see why Alonzo Bodden won in the third season of Last Comic Standing. He's witty, fast, and presents his material well with a good stage presence. He doesn't seem to be the most organized comic in the world, but his stuff seems funny enough to produce a good routine. Fans of stand-up or Last Comic Standing will definitely want to check out Tall, Dark, and Funny, but everybody else could probably get by with a rental.
Alonzo Bodden: Tall, Dark, and Funny is presented on DVD with a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The video is very clean with no noticeable compression artifacts of any kind. The sharpness seems to be one of the more predominant flaws with the transfer because at times the video looks glossed over. This seems to be attributed to the actual material itself and not a byproduct of the DVD production. A little bit of edge enhancement works its way into the image as well but doesn't detract from the experience.
The DVD is presented with two English language track selections. There is Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 channel mixes to choose from, though the obvious choice here is the more technically sound one. The quality is fair with a decent amount of channel separation but the rear speakers don't get as much play as they probably should. The DVD sounds good though with no flaw to speak of in terms of presentation. There are no subtitles offered on the disc.
The only bonus material on this DVD is a small collection of deleted scenes from Bodden's show. Some of the stuff seems to be different takes on the same joke and some of them are bits that were just axed completely. They are good as a companion to the original material, but don't really stand alone as far as extra content is concerned. This disc could have used a profile or interview with the leading man in order to give it a more personal spin.
I have to admit that when Last Comic Standing was being broadcast I only saw bits and pieces of the show. I remember seeing Bodden when he was running for the competition, but seeing him now after he won the third season just proves his worth. He's a funny guy with a lot of great material and Tall, Dark, and Funny provides a lot of laughs. Fans of stand-up will appreciate this DVD and I look forward to seeing more from Bodden in the future.