I first started paying attention to Whitney Cummings after seeing her on the Comedy Central Roast for Joan Rivers. Her short set of insults was incendiary and hilarious, the kind of mean humor a jerk like me can get behind. I still like her on the Roasts, but I am having a much harder time with her whenever she appears anywhere else. Whitney Cummings: Money Shot is a new stand-up special that gives us 48 minutes of the comedian out on her own, doing her thing, presumably exactly as she wants. Absent are the harsh zingers and well-observed takedowns of human behavior; in their place, lots of jokes about relationships.
Seriously. A lot of jokes. Why do guys watch porn? Why do guys watch sports? Why do women get called "princess"? Is it so bad if a girl snoops through her boyfriend's cell phone? Who invented the thong? How come guys don't have to spend so much time getting ready in the morning?
There is an old gag on The Simpsons when Homer tunes in to a parody version of Def Comedy Jam, and the Simpsons writers decided to send-up that show's humor style by showing a comedian doing a variety of "Black guys do [blank] like this...but white guys do [blank] like this" gags. Whitney Cummings: Money Shot could be characterized in much the same way, just replace race with gender, dust off your hands, work done. Except, unlike Homer Simpson, I wasn't laughing at my own lameness...because most of the time I wasn't laughing.
Which isn't to say I didn't laugh at all. There are some good bits in Money Shot--though I think most of the best material was recycled from Cummings' much shorter slot in Douchebags and Donuts. It may just be she's better in small doses. Her delivery tends to be a little one note--loud and forceful, punctuated by an exaggerated face and a self-satisfied giggle. The DVD proudly touts the comic's regular appearances on Chelsea Lately, but I don't know how those go, I can't stand that program either. Maybe, however, that venue reveals the real Cummings and the Roasts are another thing entirely. Meaning, if you like Chelsea Lately, then you'll possibly like Whitney Cummings: Money Shot, as well.
Comedy is the most subjective art form there is. If there was a way to zero in on something that would make every single person who hears it laugh without fail, it would be the proverbial lightning in a bottle. Money Shot hardly made me laugh at all, but I'm guessing, using the parlance of relationships, it's not Whitney, it's me. I chose wrong when I grabbed this DVD out of the pile. I won't be calling back for a second date. Because I'm a dude. And I'm so lame.
It's worth noting that this is the unedited version of the concert, with all the dirty words intact. I assume there is an edited version airing on Comedy Central.