Review: ‘The Comedians of Comedy’

Amiably slapdash docu about "The Comedians of Comedy" tour mixes on-stage performances, backstage bull sessions and downtime tomfoolery to generally satisfying and frequently hilarious effect. Homevid-bound item should play well on the fest circuit and might even land a smattering of theatrical bookings.

Amiably slapdash docu about “The Comedians of Comedy” tour mixes on-stage performances, backstage bull sessions and downtime tomfoolery to generally satisfying and frequently hilarious effect. Homevid-bound item should play well on the fest circuit and might even land a smattering of theatrical bookings.

Designed as a showcase for “alternative” comics Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Maria Bamford and Zach Galifianikis, tour takes novel tack of booking dates in small indie rock clubs and college venues, in the hope of attracting younger people who can’t afford admission to conventional comedy clubs. Helmer Michael Blieden attempts a fair division of screen-time among the participants — no mean feat, considering Galifianikis left the tour early for solo commitments — but Oswalt and Posehn tend to dominate the pic through sheer force of personality. (Bamford’s sweetly dippy reticence obviously isn’t just on-stage shtick.) Oswalt laces his act with uproarious rants about politics — his put-down of Bush voters is exuberantly scabrous — but Posehn gets even bigger laughs with blunt-spoken dissing of “The Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones.” He nails George Lucas with a cheerfully vulgar jape that likely will be repeated on fan sites throughout the known universe.

The Comedians of Comedy

Production

A NetFlix production in association with Lord Loudoun, the Comedians of Comedy, LLC and Flaming Liberal Prods., LLC. Produced by D.J. Paul, Ted Sarandos. Executive producers, Patton Oswalt, Michael Blieden. Co-producers, David Rath, Cindy Holland. Directed, edited by Michael Blieden.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Brandon Hickman; music, Michael Penn. Reviewed at South by Southwest Film Festival (competing), March 18, 2005. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Maria Bamford, Zach Galifianikis.
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