Friday, February 8, 2008

Wild West Comedy Show

Directed by Ari Sandel, this is a concert tour film with Vince Vaughn, and four up-and-coming comedians: Ahmed Ahmed, John Caparulo, Bret Ernst, and Sebastian Maniscalco.
Stand-up comedy is not the industry it was in the 1980s. These comedians have been around for 10-15 years each, and some of them may be headlining one week and working as a waiter next week. Vince Vaughn organized this tour to give these four guys a showcase.
In 2005 they went on a month-long 6000-mile bus tour, which happened to coincide with Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.
Also appearing are some friends of Vince Vaughn such as Jon Favreau, Justin Long, and Peter Billingsley (Ralph from A CHRISTMAS STORY, all grown up).
The four comedians: Ahmed Ahmed is of Egyptian descent, and much of his humor comes from the “Really, I’m not a terrorist” vein. Sebastian Maniscalco is from Chicago. John Caparulo is a Midwestern Everyman. Bret Ernest is a Jersey boy.
These are funny, talented, rude comedians. When it shows them on stage, the film is hilarious.
But it only shows us snippets of their stage show, quickly cutting away to other things.
Unfortunately, way too much of the film depicts backstage and what it’s like to be on a tour bus slumber party with Vince Vaughn and these guys. The film greatly overestimates how interesting it is to spend time with these guys offstage. These parts of the film come across as SPINAL TAP… only not funny.
That they managed to hit 30 cities in 30 nights is an amazing feat, and that must have been the impetus to document it. This must have been a grueling tour. But seeing behind the curtain of this tour isn’t that interesting.
I’m still recommending this mildly, because these guys are funny. I just wish the film had a greater ratio of on-stage comedy to off-stage time.

No comments:

Watch the latest videos on