After appearing in features “The Players Club,” “Two Can Play That Game” and “The Wash,” comedian Alex Thomas gets his own comedy special, “Straight Clownin,’ ” filmed at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles in front of a crowd that included Damon Wayans and Robert Townsend. Though cut from the same cloth as the current crop of Def Comedy Jam comics, Thomas, a physical comedian whose facial expressions are a crackup, limits the lewdness while talking about issues such as modern technology, nudist colonies and the future of television. Pic will air on Showtime in the fall.
Pic begins with Tyra Banks, Jamie Foxx, Shaquille O’Neal, Will Smith and Dr. Dre all talking about Thomas’ upcoming show that night. Thomas himself is having trouble getting to the show and, too embarrassed to take the bus, he opts to take a scooter through the streets of L.A., and enters the stage still riding it. Funniest bits include a profanity-laden newscast and a comparison between white and black department store mannequins. Production values of show are fine.