Comedians of Comedy, The

Reviewed By Brian McKay
Posted 03/28/06 10:46:10

"When the Kings and Queens have come and gone, it's all about the comedians"
5 stars (Awesome)

First we had THE KINGS OF COMEDY. Then THE LATIN KINGS OF COMEDY. Then THE QUEENS OF COMEDY. And now the whole thing comes full-circle with THE COMEDIANS OF COMEDY. But while the whole "OF COMEDY" title trend is officially worn the fuck out, the humor in COMEDIANS is anything but.

Although there's nothing terribly unique about COMEDIANS approach to the subject matter, there's just something special about the way it allows us to see the daily grind of working comedians. These aren't big powerhouse names that play stadium venues. These are the second string alternative comics who play small clubs and have a small but loyal fan base. The comedians in question are Patton Oswalt (one of my personal favorites), Brian Posehn, Maria Bamford, and Zach Galifinakis. Each of them are extremely funny, with their own unique style, voice, and comedic vision. But seeing their day to day interactions before and after showtime is as much fun as watching them up on stage. These people aren't funny because it's their job, but because it's what they are (Galifinakis refers to the compulsion to perform comedy for a living as "some kind of mental disorder").

Having a friend who is a stand up comedian, and having hung around him with other comedians, I've heard a lot about what goes on inside the industry. COMEDIANS imparts that same kind of insider's experience to the viewer in under two hours, giving a generally unvarnished look a the ups and downs of the comedian's life. Each of the featured comics has their own particular eccentricities which help define their stage persona - but theyll be the first to tell you that it isn't all one long continuous laughfest. Horror stories of brazen hecklers, sleazy promoters, and trying to do a show under downright awful conditions are abundant. But despite all of the setbacks, none of them seem to have any regrets about their chosen profession, and are always willing to go that extra mile to get the laugh (a prime example of this would be the "Mayonaise bit" included in the special features section, and Galifnakis's segment on why he's "above" doing physical comedy is just priceless).

Smart, edgy, and consistently hilarious, THE COMEDIANS OF COMEDY is a rare insight into the lifestyle of the road comic. And while most of the other OF COMEDY films we've seen are hilarious in their own right, none of them approach the subject matter with a fraction of the depth that COMEDIANS imparts.

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