Monday, February 11, 2008


“VINCE VAUGHN’S WILD WEST COMEDY SHOW” (4 unknown comedians, some has-beens & Vince)
I shouldn’t make fun of the ‘cast’ as I actually enjoyed this comedy-mentary; it starts off slow, but builds up momentum at various intervals along the way & ends at just about the right time (Before you start getting sick of these guys)
Vince Vaughn, fresh off the success of “Wedding Crashers” took 4 stand-up comics; Ahmed Ahmed, John Caparulo, Bret Ernst & Sebastian Maniscalco - & went on a 30 shows in 30 nights trek across America starting in Southern California, traveling eastward staying mainly in the south & ending in Vaughn’s hometown of Chicago. Along the way, a show is cancelled due to hurricane Katrina. They then do some benefits for the victims of that disaster, which turn out to be some of the best scenes.
Also on board is Vaughn’s best friend Peter Billingsly (from that over-rated Christmas movie) Justin Long (Before ‘Die Hard 4’ made him ‘known’) John Favreau (Who’s one of those guys I like, but I don’t know why) & Keir O’Donnell (Who played the ‘gay’ disturbed brother in ‘Wedding Crashers’ – disturbed in that he falls for Vince’s character)
I could have done without Billingsley, Long & Favreau – their ‘skits’ all failed in my mind. & the comedians aren’t going to have you rolling in the aisles either, but at times throughout the journey, they each come up with bits that will make you laugh.
Ahmed Ahmed is the least funny of the 4 – he plays the ‘terrorist’ card over & over & over again until you wished he’d find another subject. Caparulo is the only one I knew going in & his drawback is in relying on the ‘F’ word waaay too much. There is however a humorous moment where John has been told not to swear during one of the shows because of the deeply religious crowd & he gets to the punchline of an extremely filthy joke & realizes he can’t finish it. Bret Ernst probably made me laugh the most, but he didn’t exactly ‘outshine’ the others – I think I just related to his material more. Sebastian Maniscalco is the reason the film works; this guy was a waiter – not prior to becoming a comedian – As they headed out on this journey, Sebastian was expected back at his ‘real’ job of being a waiter in Hollywood. So here’s your rooting interest – You want this guy to succeed as he embarks on this ‘dream come true’ opportunity & he holds his own with the more established comics.
They also hit the hometowns of each of the 4 stand-ups & time is spent introducing their family members; sometimes this works out – sometimes (Such as in Ahmed’s case) you wish they would ‘move on’ & get out of this uncomfortable situation.
Just to warn you, though – this isn’t a ‘best of’ the shows they did – it is a documentary of the journey they took, so it isn’t all jokes, jokes, jokes - & because of Katrina, it isn’t always humorous either. But this was an experiment in filmmaking that I found interesting & amusing to watch. I hear there’s talk that Vaughn might do it again & that will be one sequel I’ll look forward to seeing.

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