Archive for October, 2011

 

Listening to the new project from Andrés du Bouchet reminded me of the first time I watched Pulp Fiction. I was living in the middle of the Mojave Desert in 1994 and had to drive over an hour to get to the nearest showing of Tarantino’s groundbreaking film. I went with my dad and afterward we were so blown away by what we had seen, we were rendered speechless on the entire drive home, both of us lost deep in thought as we replayed over and over in our heads what we had just been through. At the end of the night we found ourselves in a Denny’s, dissecting and discussing the events that had unfolded over a pot of coffee.

I was the first one in my circle of friends to see the film and I realized as I tried to express to them how good it was, I was having a hard time putting everything I experienced during the film into words. With its snappy dialogue, constant waves of building suspense, and its timeline-hopping lack of linear storytelling, it was unlike anything I had ever seen. And I loved every minute of it. As I answered (or attempted to answer) my friends’ queries of “How was it?” I found I wasn’t doing the film justice.

And that’s also what I felt after experiencing the incredibly brilliant Naked Trampoline Hamlet. I don’t know how I’m going to impress upon you how amazing it is, but I’m sure gonna try. I probably don’t need to say this project is unlike any comedy album I’ve ever heard and as someone who is constantly on the lookout for fresh, new, and unique approaches to the art of stand-up, to say du Bouchet is exactly what I was hoping to stumble upon without really knowing what it was I was hoping to stumble upon is a fair statement.

Because NTH throws away the outline of what a comedy album should be, prepare yourself to spend an hour with a guy who isn’t going to do anything you expect him to do. Gone are the simple set-up/punchline combinations, the obvious answers to old jokes, and the idea that a comedian can’t be his own warm-up act.

du Bouchet is a captivating performer, and a performer is exactly what he is. To refer to him only as a comic is to take away from everything that is happening on the stage. And trust me…there’s is a lot happening here.

The brilliance of what du Bouchet has constructed lies in the fact that he hasn’t merely written an evening’s worth of well-crafted jokes. It’s more accurate to say that what unfolds before our eyes (or ears, in this case) is a full-on six-act play. Each segment of the show has its own distinct style, feel, tone, and theme. du Bouchet tackles and embodies the various narrators of each track with the flawless, committed skill of a classically trained actor. Whether he’s playing the role of an eager comedian whose delivery is overtaken by the excited machismo of the ultimate alpha male specimen or rattling off one idea for a new reality show after another (And another. And another. And another), du Bouchet is the epitome of dedicating himself to a role and working hard to make it click.

The CD opens with the crowd being warmed up by Danny Yeahyeah, a du Bouchet creation that tests the patience of the audience (and the listener) to such extremes, the payoff comes in laughter that is equally proportional to the utter ridiculousness to which the audience is subjected. du Bouchet gives new definition to the phrase “crowd work” and literally makes the crowd work for their laughter.

Have you ever seen that clip from Family Guy where the mother (Lois) is lying in bed and baby Stewie approaches, craving attention? It’s a brilliant scene and for a minute straight, nothing in the frame moves except for Stewie’s mouth as he does nothing but call out her name. “Lois. Lois. Lois. Lois. Lois. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy…” It’s the classic gag of humor through repetition. It’s funny, then the humor sort of wanes, and then by the sheer act of being perpetually repeated it becomes funny once again. du Bouchet takes that concept, scrunches it into a ball, and smashes Seth MacFarlane in the nuts with it. THIS is how it’s done. Have a seat and allow du Bouchet to introduce to you a little something called The Yeah Yeah Game. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

And, of course, just when you think you have it all figured out (“Oh, OK, du Bouchet is this kind of comic…”), the rug is pulled out from under your feet and you find yourself in the midst of a brand-new approach. You think you know who this guy is, and who he is going to be, but seriously…you don’t.

The second act is probably the closest du Bouchet comes to what you may expect from a stand-up comedian but although he begins with standard fare like lawyer and knock-knock jokes, there’s no way you could ever be prepared for the punchlines. Even when you start to feel comfortable and think you’ve got everything figured out…you guessed it. Ya don’t.

Even though you know — you know! — du Bouchet is going to present you with some of the oldest jokes and riddles in the book and swap out the punchlines for something crazy, you know he’s just going to say something random and off the wall, you still end up caught by surprise, trying to regain your footing by how off-balance and truly random things get.

On the album’s title track du Bouchet calls together a meeting of thespians for a very specific re-creation of a classic dramatic work. du Bouchet’s voice carries nicely, projecting with the stately resonance of a herald from Medieval Times mixed with the misguided pomposity of an enthusiast from your local Renaissance Fair.

As the album continues on, we really begin to see that not only does du Bouchet have a real knack for comedy, he’s also extremely gifted at picking and choosing his words, giving everything he says a feel of very real intentionality (I don’t know if that’s a word, but I think you know what I mean, and it’s exactly the word I’m looking for. So there). Never before has comedy felt so highbrow and sophisticated while at the same time infused with intentional mispronunciation, colorful metaphors, and the perfect poetic description regarding the unsettling distance between Maggie Gyllenhaal’s eyes.

With his recitation of some of the more notable non-fiction books on the mating habits of finches (nope, I’m not lying) and his recounting of a special evening he shared with David Hasselhoff in which it seems he’s challenged himself to see how off-topic he can get and still wrap things up, du Bouchet boldly leads you into a new realm of comedy. It’s a place where the laughs come not in the form of punchlines but in the structure of what it being shared. It’s a place where quitters are not tolerated, helium is regarded as the noblest of elements, and Joey Fatone never sleeps with anyone more than twice.

If you dare accept this invitation to such uncharted comedy territory you will be rewarded handsomely. That reward comes in the form of laughter, and du Bouchet is a very generous benefactor.

***

Naked Trampoline Hamlet is available from Rooftop Comedy Productions

Confidence is a tricky thing, especially when it comes to stand-up. You could take the exact same joke in front of the exact same crowd told by the exact same comedian but deliver it with various levels of confidence and you’ll get completely different reactions. It’s up to the comedian to decide which approach works best for them. Are you going to take the stage like you belong there, sure-footed and determined, unafraid to let the crowd know who’s in charge? Examples of confident comedians might include Robin Williams, David Cross, or Dane Cook.

Or perhaps you prefer the Confidence Meter dialed down, instead finding humor in the softer-spoken style of someone who doesn’t want to rock the boat. One wouldn’t naturally assume under-confidence (or at least the illusion thereof) and comedy could mix successfully, but I present as Exhibit B such talented performers as Mike Birbiglia, Demetri Martin, and Woody Allen.

And then you have the other end of the spectrum. The level that, I believe, may be the hardest to pull off. It’s easy to portray yourself as an over-confident, pompous jackass, but who cares? That doesn’t always equal funny. The trick is taking that over-confidence, putting it all out there for the world to see, and not only make a crowd of strangers laugh but also make them want to spend more time with you. When it’s not pulled off successfully, there’s nothing you can do to make people wish you’d get off the stage sooner. But done the right way, it really is pretty cool to behold. Comedians like Daniel Tosh and Anthony Jeselnik are so good at it, they make it look easy. It’s almost as if they’re trying to see who can say the worst thing with the cockiest attitude and still sell albums.

And they do.

Now add to that small-yet-impressive list of Comedians Who Kill With Over-Confidence this guy: Rory Scovel.

On his new album, Dilation, Scovel proves himself as a no-holds-barred comedian who has introduced a new ingredient into this over-confident jambalaya: Fun. Where Tosh and Jeselnik combine a smarmy disgruntled-ness into their format, almost as if they loathe the fact they have to perform for the general public (which isn’t a critique; I think it’s a vital part of their successful formula), Scovel has instead torn that particular page out of the recipe book and jammed it down the garbage disposal. He’s not angry at or with the crowd, nor is he miffed that his presence is required on the stage. Nope. Scovel has a unique angle that breathes new life into his pomposity.

I’ll say it again: Fun.

Sure, Scovel comes across as over-confident and arrogant at first, but dammit, he’s also really happy to be here and that happiness is infectious. There are even a couple of times when Scovel cracks himself up and as he reveals each tiny chink in his armor, it humanizes him, and the laughs flow freely and more and more abundantly.

Scovel is a riot and each minute spent with him is plain and simply a great time. The track listing, with titles like “Drive,” “Walk,” “Eat,” “Live,” and “Breathe,” refuse to give you any clue as to what lies in store but from the very first minute Scovel takes the stage you’re ensured that no matter what happens, it’s going to be funny. His smarmy “thank you’s” as he basks in the welcoming applause that greets him in the opening track soon devolve into the paranoid rant of an amnesia patient desperately demanding to know just what in the world is going on.

And with that, a piece of armor is gone and the humor is instantly elevated to the next level. It’s brilliant to witness.

This project is so incredible, it’s actually really tricky to approach for a review. Each track covers so much ground, it’s hard to decide what to focus on and what to leave for you to discover on your own. Not that I’m complaining. If the fact that there’s too much good stuff to rave about in one sitting is the only downside to the CD, then that’s not actually a downside at all.

Despite the fact I’ve already discussed Scovel’s self-assured approach, that’s not to say he doesn’t span a vast range of emotions, energy levels, and points of view. He leads us through a wide array of mood swings and he knows exactly when it’s time to switch gears for the most comedic effect. In one instant he’s a guy bragging about being so rich he doesn’t fly in planes but instead drives them around just to show off how loaded he is. But then at the drop of a hat he hilariously morphs into the pilot of the plane, a good ol’ Southern boy who can only dream of the time his plane will hit a flock of birds over the Hudson River so he can show everyone how to really land a plane in case of emergency.

If he’s not telling the most finely-crafted joke about a Tyler Perry movie title, then Scovel is in a mock fit of anger, crying and sniveling with all of his strength, doing whatever it takes to mock all of the whiny people who were outraged by the Karate Kid re-make. The only thing funnier than when Scovel puts into perspective everyone who actually took time out of their day to bemoan the Hollywood machine is when he explains why he actually liked the new version.

Scovel’s crowd work is second-to-none and he’s able to turn even the worst hecklers and audience participants into gut-busting gold. At one point he asks a woman in the crowd what she does for a living. She cryptically answers with “I do medical.” Scovel doesn’t let her off the hook until it becomes apparent — to me, at least — that she’s a big fat liar and the closest she’s come to “doing medical” is watching reruns of Grey’s Anatomy with her diabetic rescue cats.

When Scovel begins another bit by mentioning how boring Michigan is, he’s immediately interrupted by the most pretentious Michigander you’ll ever find yourself wishing death upon. What is deliciously ironic about the entire exchange is that the more Scovel pokes and prods, the more this wannabe heckler proves his initial point. She continues to offer up reasons why Michigan is awesome but does so in such mind-numbingly boring fashion, she unwittingly becomes Scovel’s best witness for the prosecution.  The more she talks, the less impressive she (and Michigan) becomes and in doing so, presents herself as the perfect punching bag for Scovel. I’m pretty sure the next time she steps up to defend Michigan, she’s going to receive an overnight express letter from the state which simply reads, “Don’t.”

A great running gag that Scovel latches onto throughout the album is his conversation with the person listening to this recording in their car. He’s not afraid to stop the action and give an occasional “Turn left here” or even come to complete radio silence just to freak out The Guy In His Car. Scovel’s willingness to break the fourth wall and turn the format on its ear is yet another example of his unique approach that pays off. Big time.

Throughout the duration of the album, Scovel changes his method and persona, but it happens so smoothly you never realize it’s happening. Only after the fact, as I looked back on the proceedings, did I even realize what took place.

It all started off with Scovel in charge, a mischievous trickster pulling us up a steep incline in a rickety red wagon, occasionally threatening to let go at any moment, careening to what would most assuredly be our demise. But as we crested the hill, Scovel showed us the other side. Yes, it’s pretty steep and yes, we probably should have brought a helmet, but by this time it’s too late. We’ve already put our trust in Scovel and it’s a trust he has earned. He doesn’t want us to get hurt, he just wants to give us the thrill ride of a lifetime.

By the end of the last track, as we’re zooming down the hill in that little red wagon, whooping, hollering, and having a complete blast, we realize Scovel has jumped in beside us and no one is enjoying the ride more than he is. His hands are in the air, and no one is screaming louder.

Wooooooohoooooooo!

As fun as it may be to push someone down a hill and watch what happens next from on high, ultimately it’s another story to give in and be a passenger. With Scovel, we’re in this together and anything can happen. It’s dangerous living via comedy and by the time the wagon slows to  a stop at the bottom of the hill, we’re actually glad he left the helmets at home. Sometimes the best part of the ride is the risk that comes with it, and it just may be a while before another ride as fun as this one comes along. I highly suggest you trust Scovel and take your seat in the wagon.

I’ll see you at the bottom of the hill.

***

Dilation is available from Stand Up! Records

Way back in 2005 I was introduced to Invite Them Up, a 2-disc collection of comics that ranged from the familiar to the obscure (or at least, at the time, obscure to me). Sure, there were comics I already knew and loved like Eugene Mirman, Demetri Martin, Todd Barry, David Cross, and Mike Birbiglia, but what excited me the most were the newer comedians who were all able to hold their own when placed next to these powerhouses. It’s funny to look back now at some of the names I didn’t know then, especially since most of them have gone on to make a pretty big splash in the world of comedy. Names like Jessi Klein, David Wain, Chelsea Peretti, Jon Benjamin, A.D. Miles, Aziz Ansari, and Mindy Kaeling. It’s hard for me to process that was only five years ago and the group of “newer” comedians had zero name recognition with me at the time. What I did know then was they were all extremely talented comics and it was fun for me to begin seeing their names pop up in more and more comedy credits.

Likewise, I’m really excited to hear more from the comics from the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival 2011 – Fresh Faces compilation. With the exception of one comedian (Adam Newman, whose CD I have already highly recommended), I wasn’t familiar with the people found here (Go figure, I know. Lancaster Pennsylvania just isn’t the stand-up comedy hotbed you probably assume it is).

That being said, just like I was excited to see what would become of the Invite Them Up gang, this is another strong lineup of solid comics who are sure to bring us some excellent projects in the (hopefully near) future. It’s a stellar roster and although some of them have a stronger overall set than others, each one of the 16 comedians found on this 2-disc release has a home run bit to be proud of.

One of the comedians who really stood out is Nate Fridson. He’s the first comic up to bat and he makes the most of his five minutes by doling out a strong set that spans an array of topics: drunk driving, the duties that come with being The Man Of The House, skinny jeans, and the comparison of his girlfriend to a customs security agent. He ends his set with a look at growing up Jewish, attending summer camp, and how difficult it must have been to get the first family to sign up.

Anton Shuford’s set consists mostly of material on the difficulty of jobs: having one, not having one, being fired from one, being asked to leave one, and applying for a new one. Shuford is an engaging storyteller who excels in building tension, especially during his explanation of why he has to check the “YES” box in the section of a job application that asks “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”

Mike Paramore approaches his comedy from a no-nonsense perspective. He’s juts a regular, good Christian man who also admits to being “kind of a freak.” He’s looking for a woman who’s not too bashful and won’t ruin “business time.” Paramore also admits he’s pretty easily irritated but after explaining why (he prefers soap to the body wash women try to push onto him, his sexually-questionable friend has troubling requests, and women who give the ages of their children in forms that require doing long division in your head), you can’t really blame him for being a bit agitated.

Another comedian worth noting is Troy Walker, whose observation that insults found in classic literature are much worse than anything we say nowadays was a great way to start his time (and also gave me an excellent word to replace ‘douchebag’). Walker’s insight into what a woman’s birthday wish really means and his suspicions of a stripper’s racial tendencies prove he’s not just some guy bumbling his way through life; he thrives in picking up on and dissecting the subtleties other men would more than likely never even register.

Dave Stone may at first remind some people of Zach Galifianakis and not just because he is — as he puts it — “a 30 year-old fat man.” His inflection and phrasing are also a bit similar, but there’s no just cause for any accusations of copycatting. Despite any vocal similarities, Stone is very much his own person and sets himself apart with his unique comic perspective. His set is well-crafted and very funny as he ponders the ups and downs of being kidnapped and being so broke you have to plot the purchase of a Wendy’s hamburger into your financial big picture. He’s a born-again carnivore making up for all the time he lost during his brief stint as a vegetarian, and he’s grown tired of football-themed radio ads. By the time Stone’s set is over, you’ll find any comparisons to other comedians totally forgotten and will instead wonder when we’ll be hearing from him next.

From the moment she takes the stage, you can tell that Emily Heller is thoroughly enjoying what she does. Her comedy not only brings real laughter as she delves into dealing with her own self-image, but it’s also infused with a very sincere sense of what can only be described as…joy. When you’re spending time with someone who enjoys her work — in this case, making people laugh — as much as Heller does, there’s no way you can’t not have a good time. Whether she’s divulging her plans for a uterus-themed Christmas card or attending her ex-boyfriend’s Mime School graduation, you’ll find there are plenty of good times to be had from this sexy librarian look-alike (At least, from the head, up. I’ll let her tell you what you’ll find from the neck, down).

I really like Sagar Bhatt for his uniquely positive-yet-dark outlook on life. He is the epitome of every white,fluffy, happy cloud having a dark lining. And lurking there in that dark lining you’ll find some good laughs. Whether he’s ruminating about the fresh-faced guy on an airplane whose very presence ensures everything is going to be OK on the flight or visiting his proud, first-time-parent brother, Bhatt guarantees that no matter how Norman Rockwell-esque the characters in the picture appear to be, it could all go to hell in an instant. You could be racially profiled by that American poster child on the plane or even end up comparing your newborn nephew to poop. Either way, he shows that no matter how good or nice something may be, it can always be improved by making it funny.

Those are just a few of the comics whose appearance on this project I really enjoyed. In all honesty, you could choose any of the comedians from this compilation and tell me they’re going to be The Next Big Thing and I wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow. Kudos to the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival and Next Round Entertainment for a very impressive group of “Fresh Faces” whom I am sure will be bringing smiles — and laughs — to our faces for years to come.

***

Laughing Skull Comedy Festival 2011 – Fresh Faces is available from Next Round Entertainment

Call me old-fashioned or boring or whatever clever insult strikes a chord with you, but I’m beginning to fear the pre-produced high-energy intros found on comedy albums. More often than not, it ends up coming off like a bad WWE match where all of the work and production value goes into the glitzy introduction, the main event hyped up to a level that in all reality will not attained.

Michael Malone’s new release, Let’s Get Physical  begins with his appearance on a morning zoo-type radio show, complete with crazy sound effects and hosted by the deep-voiced male version of Robin Quivers whose job it is to laugh way too hard at every word uttered by the in-studio guest. When asked what kind of show people can expect from him, Malone promises high energy with a lot of characters and funny faces.

Um…OK.

Slowly a driving techno beat begins to build in the background as we are then whisked away to his big show. The music gets louder and you can almost see Malone in the wings, jumping up and down in place like a boxer waiting to make his triumphant journey into the ring.

It’s a lot of bells and whistles and it doesn’t quite reflect Malone’s regular-energy persona and style. He doesn’t necessarily burst onto stage with both barrels blazing and hey! Where are all of the fun characters we were promised? After an intro like that, I was certainly expecting more than the stereotypical gay/female voice and the oddly interchangeable Southern guy/black guy voice. Other than those two, it’s pretty much just Malone being himself. We were also promised funny faces and, judging by the numerous long pauses scattered throughout the album with no explanation of what he’s doing, I can only assume that’s what’s going on.

The crowd seems to be having fun and at times their over-the-top eruptions of laughter are a little suspicious. I don’t know if they were sweetened up a bit in post-production or if they were promised free cookies every time they reacted or if they were all practicing to be morning radio DJs, but there were quite a few times when the joke-to-response ratio seemed way off-balance. It just struck me as odd that an aside like “Oh well” or “That was weird” would garner an outrageous explosion of unconstrained hysterical laughter from what sounds like an arena-sized audience.

For me, there didn’t seem to be a lot of material here that was particularly unique or refreshing. Malone covers mostly standard comedy topics we’ve all heard before like men, women, and relationships. Not that comedians can’t find new ways to cover such territory, but there weren’t any insightful revelations to be found here. I don’t know if you knew this, but apparently..wait for it…men and women are different.

I didn’t laugh much as I listened to the CD, but that’s OK because, just like the aforementioned radio DJ, Malone is more than willing to supply the laughter for us. He finds himself hilarious and I lost track of how many times he tells a punchline and then breaks out into full-on laughter.

Malone doesn’t enjoy working with the crowd as much as he uses them merely as a device to move on to the next topic. His interactions with the audience are done so with a more-than-obvious agenda. At different points he asks,

  • Are there any parents in the house?
  • Are there any couples here?
  • Does anyone here have any pets?

From there, Malone seems genuinely surprised at the affirmative answers he receives. Oh really? There are people here who have kids? Wow, that’s amazing, because that’s what I wanna talk about now.

Sometimes, though, it backfires. When Malone asks the women in the audience for their #1 complaint about men, it’s very obvious he’s fishing for a specific response. Ladies shout out one answer after another, and none of them are what Malone is looking for. Finally, he has to awkwardly supply the correct answer himself and he finally moves on with a subtle, “Well, usually people say…”

I’m sure there are people who will enjoy this album. As evidenced by the crowd recorded during this particular performance, people from Alabama love it. But for those of us looking for a fresh voice with something more original in their approach, it’ll take more than just getting physical.

***

Let’s Get Physical is available from Next Round Entertainment


As a lifelong fan of “Weird Al” Yankovic (I still recall my very first introduction to him at a post-Junior High-play cast party; one of the older kids was blaring Yankovic’s “In 3-D” cassette tape on an old-school boom box), I went into this one already knowing I was going to love it. The fact that I’d already seen Yankovic perform live twice this year laid the groundwork for my review of “Weird Al” Yankovic Live! – The Alpocalypse Tour , as recorded at one of his Canadian performances. Don’t worry, though. I’m a fan, but not a total fanatic in a scary kind of way. Before 2011, I’d never been to one of his shows, so I had to make up for lost time.

Yankovic has always been able to make me laugh but I was also enthralled with his talents as a musician. Instrumentally, his parodies are always re-constructed from the ground up and I can’t help but be impressed by how closely he mimics the originals. However, one thing I always found a bit frustrating was the fact that most people I encountered never really realized that Yankovic is also a very talented songwriter and performer. Believe it or not, he’s not just some guy who changes the words to popular songs.

Yes, Yankovic made his mark by poking fun at pop culture, taking the biggest songs of the time and supplying his own new and twisted lyrics, often times opting to sing about food or television. But his parodies, as good as they are, are only half the story.

Literally.

On each of his albums the track listing alternates between send-ups of the latest Top 40 hits and Yankovic’s own original compositions. His extremely-knowledgeable grasp of songwriting and music theory may come as a surprise to most people who only see Yankovic as the long-haired accordion player who occasionally throws one leg behind his head.

Which is why I’m so happy to see the release of “Weird Al” Yankovic Live! – The Alpocalypse Tour on DVD. Unlike any of his past releases, this project showcases Yankovic’s vast array of skills that have, for the most part, gone unnoticed. After only a few minutes you can’t help but admire Yankovic’s energy, commitment, musicality (both vocally and accordion-ly), and his obvious know-how of what makes for an amazing live show. Yankovic isn’t merely standing on stage behind a microphone singing silly songs…this guy performs.

The number of costume changes alone is staggering and Yankovic supports each wardrobe choice by completely embodying a vast array of characters:

  • With “Skipper Dan,” his entitled thespian in a black beret, cape, and sunglasses morphs into a hapless Disneyland tour guide before your very eyes
  • On “Craigslist” he perfectly captures the essence of Jim Morrison in his white pirate shirt/leather pants combo
  • His red and black zebra-patterned suit couldn’t more appropriately complement his suave Master of Bad Pick-Up Lines during “Wanna B Ur Lover”

Although this performance highlights songs from his latest album “Alpocalypse(which I loved, of course. You can read my gushing review here), Yankovic is very much aware of the crowd-pleasers that made him who he is today and the audience delights to see him perform as Kurt Cobain from “Smells Like Nirvana,” the bearded Lancaster, Pennsylvanian in “Amish Paradise,” and fat Michael Jackson from…well…”Fat.”

Joining Yankovic are his long-time faithful band members (Jim West, Steve Jay,  Rubén Valtierra, and Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz), each and every one of them amazing musicians in their own right and it’s great to see them get a bit of very due time in the limelight. They’re all eager to jump in on the joke with Yankovic and it’s especially a lot of fun seeing them don costume pieces from the video of the Lady Gaga parody, “Perform This Way.”

The concert ends with a Star Wars-themed encore that has arguably become the most popular aspect of the live Yankovic experience, culminating in the ever-evolving “Yoda Chant,” a mash-up of nonsensical words, Hawaiian ditties, Jerry Lewis references, and rare Disney theme park music. Almost as much fun as watching Yankovic and the band perform gibberish in perfect sync with one another is watching the audience try to figure out exactly what in the world they’re witnessing. The guy ain’t called “weird” for nothin’.

The DVD clocks in at just under 90 minutes and that’s not counting the three extra songs and tons of other goodies waiting to be discovered in the Bonus Features. To say the Comedy Central broadcast version of this concert wasn’t able to completely capture all of the fun of this show is a severe understatement. If you caught the TV version and think you’ve already seen it all then I can only respond with the title of one of Yankovic’s songs found within:

“Eat It.”*

***

*I know, I know, you saw that coming a mile away. Whatever, ya white & nerdy Canadian idiot. 

***

“Weird Al” Yankovic Live! – The Alpocalypse Tour is available from Comedy Central