The rage of the middle-aged
Fitzsimmons' age informs his act at this point, focusing on some of the challenges of aging and being a family man. Thus you get bits about how his life is mostly behind him (particularly the way life gets worse as you get older), the loss of his hair and the need to utilize baby powder on his genitals. At times he can come off like an old man complaining, literally using the words "young people" on more than one occasion, but he thankfully doesn't wallow it it. In fact, he doesn't stick too long to any topic, moving quickly through various gags with the barest of segues. At one point he moves from abortion to marijuana to homosexuality, without much of anything in the way of connective tissue. He does come up with some funny notes though, like his observation about how the Hallmark aisle shows how much less you're cared about as you get older and America's strange relationship with water.
Only late in the special, when he gets into the topic of sexuality, does he spend much time on one subject, built mainly around women. After talking a bit about the attention-drawing properties of the penis and moving smoothly from homophobia to a humorous concept related to masturbation fantasies, Fitzsimmons dives into discussion of women, specifically his wife and the sex life he shares with her. However, when he decides to go long, he doesn't break much new ground, with the exception of his rather true evaluation of the motivational power of oral sex.
The oddest part of the special has to be when Fitzsimmons leaves the stage and enters the audience to play a game of "Guess the Asian," attempting to determine the Asian heritage of a number of women in the audience. The point of this bit is unclear, though it does tie in with a number of jokes that flirt with the edge of being politically incorrect, but pull up short and arrive in an area that could be described as somewhat hacky, like his issues with St. Patrick's Day. That's probably the difference between Burr and Fitzsimmons. Burr has set himself apart from the pack with his no-holds-barred style, while Fitzsimmons is another road comic unlikely to turn off too may audiences.
Life on Stage comes in a two-disc set, with a CD and a DVD, which are packed in a CD-size three-panel digipack. The DVD features a static anamorphic widescreen menu with the option to play the specia. There are no audio options, no subtitles and no closed captioning.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 track provided here handles the task of keeping Fitzsimmons' voice separate from the audience, but there's nothing dynamic about the mix, which is free of distortion. Everything is at an appropriate level as well.
The Bottom Line