There's nothing I like more than a good stand-up comedy performance, but when you've watched so many of them, you tend to want something new, something different. There's so many topics that have just been played out over the years - how women are different from men or how blank is different than blank in general. The best stand-ups get into the absurdity of the little things of everyday life and combine insightful, sharp material with their own unique delivery (Lewis Black, for example.)
In the case of David Spade's "Take the Hit", I didn't even realize when it arrived that this was the comedian's classic 1998 performance that I hadn't seen in years. While Spade's ultra-sarcasm has divided audiences over the years, I'd be surprised if both sides couldn't agree that this program (rarely seen since its original broadcast) is golden, as Spade nails just about every bit over the hour running time.
Often taking material from his own life (including dealing with a father who gave him dating advice after getting divorced and and an incident where his entire school goofed on him when he wore a shirt his mom made with his face and name on the front"), Spade's delivery is pitch-perfect. The comedian transitions mid-story during the t-shirt tale onto a brilliant little side trip about kickball, dropping a note about how "you'd better roll it, 'cause some people bounce it, and that's illegal."
Other highlights include Spade's discussion of visiting the depressed animals at the zoo (including reinacting a tale he was told about how a stoner apparently thought he was being waved into a bear cage by the bears inside), THX movie theaters ("Ok...it's loud, you win!"), rock & roll, the search for shade in Arizona and ordering at McDonalds, among other topics.
VIDEO: HBO Home Video presents "Take the Hit" in 1.33:1 full frame, the show's original aspect ratio. The presentation quality is just average, with sharpness and detail remaining pretty inconsistent, with some scenes looking noticably a tad soft and others looking just moderately crisp. Aside from some minor noise, the picture appeared free of issues. Colors looked bright and nicely saturated, with no smearing or other concerns.
SOUND: A clean, clear stereo soundtrack with no distortion or other issues.
EXTRAS: Uh, chapters? Oh wait, I was looking for extras. Nope, none of those.
Final Thoughts: "Take the Hit" is hilarious, but $19.99 is ridiculous for a program that runs a little over 60 minutes on a DVD with nothing else. It's definitely worthwhile viewing, but try to find it on sale.