If it's crap ... We'll tell you
In lieu of the recent events in Colorado, I thought it would be good to, this week, take a look at some stand up comedy movies that I currently own in my collection. Because considering what happened in that theater, I think we all need a good laugh.
To start things off, let's begin with one that I just recently bought, The Original Kings Of Comedy.
Directed by Spike Lee, The Original Kings Of Comedy was a comedy tour that took place back in February 2000 and featured Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric The Entertainer, and the late Bernie Mac performing stand up acts with music at some points.
This movie made me laugh a lot with most of the laughs being in the first half with Steve Harvey and D.L. Hughley giving up the best laughs of the film. Bernie Mac is also funny but there's a lot of points during his time on screen that I couldn't understand a goddamn word he was saying. And Cedric The Entertainer was only meh, there were a few funny things from here but nowhere near what the other three comedians did.
Overall, I really liked The Original Kings Of Comedy, it was a fun solid movie that even at 113 minutes doesn't feel long at all.
Two years after Original Kings Of Comedy came out, in 2002, Paramount released Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat. Like with The Original Kings Of Comedy, this was an MTV films production, back when MTV was still relevant.
The film is a stand up concert in which Martin Lawrence addresses his take on his life, his infamous 1996 arrest for waving a pistol and screaming at tourists on Ventura Boulveard, and when he slipped into a three day coma in 1999 after collapsing from heat exhaustion.
There's a lot in Martin Lawrence Live that did make me laugh and while I laughed throughout more of this than I did with Original Kings Of Comedy, I still preferred the latter than the former. Original Kings Of Comedy seemed to have more fun with it while Runteldat, while all intentions were for it to be funny, felt way too serious in some parts.
Bottom line, Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat works well for fans of Lawrence but if I had to choose between this and The Original Kings Of Comedy, I'd go with Original Kings Of Comedy.
Now let's take a trip back, way back, 19 years years before Runteldat over to what is arguarbly one of the greatest stand up specials ever, Eddie Murphy: Delirious.
This stand up special shows Eddie Murphy at his most raunchiest with jokes from homosexuals to James Brown to one of the funniest moments in the history of comedy ever...
Just the fact that this happened was funny but it becomes hilarious when you read that Eddie had threatened to walk off stage if anyone requested him to do an SNL character. That just makes that so much more goddamn funny than it was.
Bottom line, if you haven't seen Delirious, definitely go out and see it, it's the best stand up special I've ever seen bar none.
Four years after Delirious, Paramount released Eddie Murphy's followup stand up concert as a theatrical film, Eddie Murphy Raw.
By this point, Murphy was at the top of his game acting-wise having starred in Beverly Hills Cop, Trading Places, 48 Hrs, The Golden Child, and the at-the-time just released Beverly Hills Cop II.
The film starts off with a filmed sketch written by Murphy and Keenan Ivory Wayans, who plays a role in the film and also features a number of other big names such as Tatyana Ali, Deon Richmond, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kim Wayans. After that, we get the actual concert itself where Murphy talks about how things have changed since Delirious, talks about marriage and divorce, and many other things.
While it's nowhere up to par with Delirous, Eddie Murphy Raw still is one of the funniest stand up films ever, if not the best theatrically released one. Murphy continues to provide laugh after laugh every minute in this movie. It's a solid stand up comedy film.
Moving away from stand up films, let's head back to stand up comedy specials and go to Dave Chappelle. We've got two stand up special from Chappelle that are available on DVD.
First up, the 2000 HBO special, Killin' Them Softly.
Taped at the historic Lincoln theater in Washington, DC. Chappelle talks about his experiences with cops, best friend Chip, and an infamous trip to the ghetto where he sees a baby selling crack. He also talks about his thoughts on politics, the Bill Clinton scandal, and relationships.
This was years before Chappelle became very well known with Chappelle's Show. In fact, I didn't even though this existed before Comedy Central first aired it in 2004.
Either way, this is still very funny stuff. Chappelle has so many great comedy bits in this that work so incredibly well. At an hour long, it's also well timed out so it doesn't overstay its' welcome. Definitely seek this one out if you love Chappelle.
And lastly, you should also seek out, Dave Chappelle: For What It's Worth. Filmed just a few months before Chappelle bowed out of the third season of Chappelle's Show, the special looks at how Chappelle's life has changed since the success of Chappelle's Show, the city of San Francisco, and his take on "what is 15 years old?".
It's interesting to watch Chappelle talk about how his life has been since Chappelle's Show hit a new peak in success in 2004 and to hear what happened a few months later, you could tell that in this special, Chappelle was already not liking the fact that people were knowing him for playing Rick James on the show when it's very clear that Chappelle is best known for much more other things than the stuff he does on his show.
I really wish Dave Chappelle would make a comeback soon because it's been far too long since he's been gone and aside from standup, he hasn't really done that much. He was almost in Tower Heist, which would've been awesome, but the film took a completely different turn and we got the project that we saw out there.
Despite that, I would still recommend For What It's Worth because it's Dave Chappelle at his comedic finest and is definitely worth checking out.
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