Chances are, if you've ever taken a shot at taking in Bob Saget's stand-up performance from HBO, or anywhere else for that matter, you've been scouring the earth trying to find a way to get those precious minutes of your life back. The last time I've seen a comic bomb on stage so bad was David Spade, because he kept giggling at every little joke he made, and his delivery was awful. Bob Saget's stand-up is much the same way, except that it's completely incoherant, and he jarringly jumps between jokes without any rhyme or reason. Yet for whatever reason, if you're like me, you probably have a great deal of respect for the man. As sad as it is, his work on Full House and America's Funniest Home Videos is going to keep him a staple in nostalgic television for eons to come. It's for the above mentioned reasons that every one of us who share the same sentiment should check out Comedy Central's Roast of Bob Saget.
For once in our lives, we get to see Bob get torn to shreds by friends and other famous comedians. If that doesn't bring a smile to your face, I don't know what will!
The Roastmaster this time around is none other than Bob's Full House co-star, John Stamos. Amongst the line-up on the roast firing arsenal is Greg Giraldo, Jeff Garlin, Cloris Leachman, Norm Macdonald, Jim Norton, Gilbert Gottfried, Brian Posehn, Jon Lovitz, Susie Essman, and of course, Roast Master General Jeffrey Ross.
If you've seen any of the roasts Comedy Central has put on in the past, then you're more than familiar with the format. All the roasters get up one by one and do whatever they can with a few minutes of speech to humiliate the crap out of the roast-ee.
It's not entirely a platform to insult a popular icon in pop culture, there's actually a level of respect that the roasters have with the victim of the program. The people participating all seem to have a great deal of love and respect for Bob, but they don't let that stand in the way of the truth. Bob is a terrible stand-up comic, and they let him know it.
There are numerous blows thrown out to Bob's career as a family man by day, but a raunchy comedian by night. The fact that Bob has been known to latch on to younger women has thrown up in front of the audience, but they also question his sexuality overall. I mean, the man was the star of Full House, how could he not be at least just a little gay?
The most surprising and pleasant part of the show however, was Cloris Leachman. You know her as Phyllis from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, or perhaps more recently from Dancing with the Stars. She gets up on the stage, and she starts politely enough. She's a little old lady, so she can't really be that with it in terms of jokes that would work, right? Wrong! She's mean, she's filthy, and she does it all with a smile and with a lot of charm at the same time. Just picture this woman saying, "Just me and the donkey!" You'd never expect it, right?
Bob takes everything in stride well though, and by the end of the program, he's crying from the great display of love and respect that was shown throughout the course of the evening. I know how strange that sounds, considering this is a roast and all, but that's just the way it is!
If you've already seen this on Comedy Central, there's honestly not much of a reason to pick up this DVD. It's not like it has a ton of replay value. However, there is still reason to check this out because the language is uncensored, and the roast has been extended for the DVD. If you've never had the opportunity to see the Roast of Bob Saget, then you're going to be in for quite a treat. Even though Bob is a horrible comedian, you get the sense that he's a really cool, down to earth, and sensitive guy. Not in a Danny Tanner sort of way, but in a 'I'd like to have beer with that guy' sort of way. His career may still be the butt of many a joke today, but he's still been able to make a lasting impression in Hollywood, and it's clear he's made a lot of good friendships along the way.
This is presented in its original 4:3 aspect ratio, as aired on television. There's not much to say about this release, other than the fact that it looks better than I remembered from when it aired on cable. The skin tones are accurate, the colors on stage are well saturated, and there doesn't appear to be any awful compression issues to speak of. The only minor complaint is some slight interlacing once in a blue moon, but other than that, this is a fairly nice transfer, but I wouldn't say it's 'out of this world' either.
It's basically just a dialogue driven show. There's not even music that gets used throughout for effect like in a movie, so it seems we get a Dolby Digital stereo track. There are no hisses or pops, and the dialogue remains consistently clear. Although it would have been nice to have a surround track, this was meant to air on a network that hasn't really brought itself to the realm of HD yet, so this was probably how it was always intended to sound anyway. For a stereo track, it's certainly not bad. There's some very nice left to right directionality with the audience applause. Not a magnificent presentation here, but it's certainly as good as it could sound.
Behind the Scenes - Only about a minute long, this is just some quick clips of some of Bob's beloved friends (most notably a good majority of the cast from Full House) giving him some early roasting on the blue carpet.
Bob Saget Interviews - Also very short, this is an interview with the man himself. It's been cut up into little bits and pieces, keeping only a series of punch lines Bob spat out during his session. These were used on Comedy Central as some early promo material.
After the Roast - After the show is over, an interviewer with Comedy Central catches a few of the roasters and asks them some questions. This is only around four minutes long, and a good amount of the time here is used on Cloris Leechman and Bob Saget himself.
On the Blue Carpet - The same interviewer from the previous extra catches a lot of people on the blue carpet on their way into the performance. A lot of silly questions are asked and answered, including what people would do if they were given seven minutes alone in a closet with John Stamos.
The extras are extremely plain, and I consider them all to be throw away material.
The Roast of Bob Saget is a highly entertaining show. How can you not love the idea of Bob Saget being torn about verbally after all the painful puns we had to hear over the years on America's Funniest Home Videos? Unfortunately, the replay value is minimal at best. It's really only a program that needs to be seen once. The extras are also a complete waste of time, so it's for these reasons that I can only recommend a rental. The content of the roast itself is great, but I don't think there's anyone out there that's going to see this and wish they could watch it over and over again.