Archive for the ‘comedy’ Category

Everybody Wants Some!!   Leave a comment

Fresh off directing one of the most ambitious films ever made, Richard Linklater moves on from Boyhood to young adulthood with Everybody Wants Some!! Titled after the great Van Halen song, Linklater pens a fun and honest look at college life in 1980. Many events in the film are loosely based off Linklater’s experiences as a college freshman athlete.

Our wide-eyed main character Jake starts us off driving down the highway in a ’72 Oldsmobile coupe blasting “My Sherona” before he anxiously arrives at his Texas-based college he’ll be attending for the next four years. Right off the bat we get well acquainted with his housemates/baseball teammates he’ll be living with for the next four years. Linklater smoothly introduces us to a slew of colorful characters that we’ve all probably met before throughout our own college experiences. As different as everyone might seem, there is a fun instant chemistry among the guys. Two evident things they can all agree on is that baseball and chasing tail are the current main priorities in life. One great scene early on is with some of the guys in the car looking for girls to invite to their upcoming party while singing along to every word of The Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.” I thought if this were today, most people would just be in the back seat texting. This is a time where people engaged with other humans because that’s all there was and I think the film really delivers on romanticizing the benefits of not having constant distractions in our lives. I love that there really isn’t one recognizable actor in this film. They all just look like guys you’d see in college. Not to take anything away from their performances of course, but I’m amazed how Linklater continually casts really genuine people which gives every one of his films a very genuine feel.

I guess “Everybody Wants Some!!” is being compared to his 1993 classic “Dazed and Confused” and rightly so. It only takes place a year after “Dazed” and the loose plot structures are similar. Both films focuses on short time frames. “Dazed” follows several students on the last day of school and ends after a late night party and “Everybody” takes place in the course of a weekend right before classes start. I still feel that both movies have their own swag. College just has a different feel than high school. Some student’s motives are similar like getting trashed and chasing tail, but these characters have more of a sense of who they are or who they’re likely going to be. In high school nobody knows squat. I liked the wise upperclassman character, Finn, who accepts that he most likely won’t play professional baseball but wants to appreciate it while it lasts. Most of the guys are in the same boat as well. They know that they’ve got it good right now being the scholarship athletes they are, but they understand that they’re peons when it’s all over. Call me a youngling, but I also found it fascinating that 18 was legal drinking age in 1980. So of course college wins over high school here.

Everybody Wants Some!! may not pan out to be the cult classic Dazed and Confused has become but I think it’s still a relevant observation of the high rolling college life of 1980. Regardless of the decade you grew up in, there’s a fun atmosphere this movie gives off that’s irresistible. Linklater captures all the subtle details from guys just hanging out talking about records to the cruel hazing that goes on for college freshmen. It also features one of the funnest  soundtracks I’ve heard in years: The Knack, Blondie, Van Halen, Dire Straits, and the Sugar Hill Gang captures the turn of the decade beautifully. And much like the soundtrack Everybody Wants Some!! is a well crafted and sensible adventure of the unknown transitions we all find ourselves stumbling through in life. I highly recommend this comedy as a great end of summer movie watch.

I Don’t Always Review Comedy Albums, But When I Do, It’s Always Bob Saget   Leave a comment

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Unless you’ve been in a coma since the mid 90’s, before Michelle Tanner fell off a horse and lost her memory in the season finale of Full House, then everyone should know by now that Bob Saget’s standup routine has become synonymous with the lowest form of filth. It’s unbelievably tasteless, and Bob Saget knows this better than anyone.

He’s also well aware of the fact that for eight, yes, EIGHT seasons he played an uptight, neat-freak father who was so schmaltzy that it made just about every TV critic puke. Not to mention his side job as the high-pitched-talking host of the original America’s Funniest Home Videos. The name Bob Saget had become a punch line. But when Bob was no longer obligated to be ABC’s good natured dad, it was time for him to spread his wings. But little did most of us know that those wings were covered with poop and sex jokes.

In 2007, Bob released a one-hour HBO special, “That Ain’t Right.” It featured Bob in all his Saget-ness. Despite his junior-high rapid fire gutter jokes, he admirably took plenty of shots at himself and the laughable image that made him famous in the 90’s. One stand out bit was a song he performed called “Danny Tanner Was Not Gay,” sung to the tune of the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way.” He defends his character’s sexual orientation while surfacing many new details from behind the scenes of Full House that we never wanted to know about – “I never slept with Dave Coulier, but Kimmy Gibbler got it this way.” This angle is what makes Saget so fun to watch as a comic. There’s no getting around who he was known for, and he wants to be the first to laugh at himself while dragging his own name deeper through the mud. It’s a twisted act and voice he’s developed, but he owns it.

Six years later Bob has released a new one-hour special featured on Showtime, “That’s What I’m Talkin’ About.” Bob has aged sort of like a fine wine, that’s been chilling in a urinal full of ice. It starts off exactly where he left off, stating, “I don’t want to offend anybody, I want to offend everybody.” He’s also well aware that since his last special, people who grew up watching him are adults now, and forewarns the audience; “Oh, I grew up watching you.” “Good, cause now you’re gonna go down watching me.”

His rapport with the audience is actually one of the most sincerest I’ve seen from any comic and is one of the funnier nuances of this performance. I believe I counted at least four fist bumps with audience members in the front row. And he hasn’t forgotten about his fans in the back rows either: “What’s your name, bro?” “J-Bone” [Bob’s eyes widen as if he were about to be hit by a train] “Where the f*** am I?” But Bob knows exactly where he is and what his audience wants to hear him say as he caters to their every need. He feeds off this young and drunk college crowd adding to his endless energy of rant-style joke telling.

What Bob may lack in tightly structured joke telling and writing, he makes up for it with a great ability to tell twisted stories of his life. I mean, if you’re on a show with a big cast like Full House for eight years, you’re bound to have at least a few amusing anecdotes. He doesn’t disappoint, as he tells a horrendous story of about an episode they did, that I remember far too well, with a donkey that kept getting an erection on set. In the episode the donkey’s name was Shorty, but off camera Bob called him “Peppermill.” Do the math. Another great story is called “John Stamos and The 8 X 10.” It involves Bob Saget, John Stamos, Dave Coulier and Bob’s nephew as they decide to take a trip to Vegas. Let’s just say it involves a naked Coulier and Stamos’ tongue. Don’t do the math on that one yet. Just give it a listen if you’re so inclined.

The last part of the show is Bob’s infamous song singing time. He does about five songs, most of which are rather somber sounding, but filled with plenty of dirty lyrics to satisfy. A standout that will remain stuck in your head for most of the day, is the upbeat, “Butt Plug Made of Leather.” All of these songs are fine musical comedy additions, but none of them could top his swan song, “Danny Tanner Was Not Gay,” featured as the final bit in his previous special.

Bob Saget is that friends’ dad who is more immature than you are, but you still secretly want to be just like him when you become a dad. It’s truly amazing how young at heart and upbeat he remains despite all the personal tragedies he’s had to deal with in his life. But for those in need of a break from high society for an hour, there’s no better way to spend it than listening to some solid poop and wiener jokes heavily featured in “That’s What I’m Talkin’ About,” which is now available on Netflix Instant. You can shrug him off if it’s just not your kind of humor, but don’t forget, “everywhere you look” Bob Saget “is waiting to carry you home.” Those words are truer than I’d like them to be.

This article was originally featured in the exceptional comedy album review website, Comedy-Reviews.