Pete Holmes makes it weird
Holmes can best be described as joy personified. His big smiling face is incredibly welcoming, and helps cut any harshness in his act, like when he talks about dropping a dog. How can you look at that face and stay mad at him? You can't, and it's just that simple. But you can laugh yourself silly as he offers up ridiculous jokes like his "Pierce!" bit or his musings on video-game doctors, but especially his thoughts on sexuality and his love of Ryan Gosling, which is part of a hilarious stretch on homophobia. Sometimes he'll tackle the standard stand-up areas like relationships between men and women, but he has his own unique take on them.
As goofy as Holmes can be. he's also a surprisingly insightful comic, as listeners to his podcast know very well. After spending most of the special talking about things like dropping dogs and barbeque that doesn't require teeth, he changes gears and dives into topics like death, religion and other such fun, before just as smoothly taking a hard left into comparing baking and porn and contemplating poorly-named fruits. But even when he gets a touch heavy, he's still a silly, silly boy, more than willing to let loose a hearty laugh when he amuses himself with a gag about fast food and deities or a tone-deaf savior.
Riding along with Holmes on his stream of consciousness is an exhilarating experience, if only because of how random he can be, jumping from a group butt-tightening experiment to the weirdness of the existence of electric eels, with a side-trip to gaze in wonder at the process of breast-milk production. I'm pretty certain I would listen if he stood on stage and spewed hateful invective, if he did it with the same joy, energy and chaos he displays in this special.
Nice Try, The Devil comes in a two-disc set, with a CD and a DVD, which are packed in a CD-size three-panel digipack with some of the creepiest sprinkles-related photography ever. The DVD features a static anamorphic widescreen menu with options to play the special, select scenes, check out the extras and adjust the set-up. There are no audio options, but subtitles are available in English SDH.
Like most stand-up DVDs lately, this special comes with a Dolby Digital 2.0 track that does a fine job of presenting Holmes' voice, and keeping it separate from the audience's reactions, but there's not a whole lot more to it, as the presentation is center-balanced and up-front, with nothing dynamic about the mix.
Two shorter appearances by Holmes from the first two seasons of John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show follow (6:25 and 14:13, respectively.) He's a bit all over the place here, talking about energy supplements, poor-spelling racists, and messing with the Amish, but two big themes keep coming back, as he talks about the downside of technologies like Google and cellphones and the the changes that come with being an adult, including some universal truths about museums. More Holmes, more gooder.
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