It's like a Super Young Comedians Special
This DVD offers some of the same perfect-hindsight benefits, except everyone here has been a success, including some of the biggest stand-ups of the 21st century, as well as TV's most popular comic performers. Captured at the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal, Canada, from 1989 to 2004, these short sets, around four to eight minutes each, include definitive bits you may know by heart, like Ray Romano's joke about his mother serving food or Jeff Dunham's puppet Peanut, to runs that later were spit-shined into memorable performances, such as Dane Cook's Speak n' Spell segment and Flight of the Conchords' classic "Business Time."
The Launching Pad concept isn't a perfect one, as many of these acts were already well-established by the time they took the stage in Montreal, with Jeff Foxworthy having already won an American Comedy Award for best stand-up, and Tim Allen's grunting Tool Man persona already firmly in place. While it's true that their biggest successes were in front of them in the form of the many series they would headline, like Rowan Atkinson's soon-to-arrive Mr. Bean and Dave Chappelle's mega-success 10 years later, these appearances likely didn't break these acts. That said, it's fun to see a very young Jon Stewart doing the political comedy that would make his a star on The Daily Show or see a small Mexican boy do a spot-on imitation of George Lopez.
Oddly, there's not a single female comedian in this line-up, since usually they horn some odd choice in as a sacrifice to the PC demons. That's not to say there aren't funny female stand-ups (off the top of my head you've got Elvira Kurt, Judy Gold and Sarah Silverman to start) but too often in collections like this, some blazer-wearing middle-act gets thrown in for "diversity," and invariably slots in as the weakest performance. Here, where every act has had at least one TV series of their own, it would have taken quite the distaff contender to fit in (even if Russell Peters is probably only included as a nod to the festival being Canadian.)
Here's the line-up:
The Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks deliver a straight-forward audio presentation, with clear speech from the comics, and no appearances of distortion. Considering the age of some of the segments, the audio is solid.
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