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The Best of Comedy Central Presents II (1999 - 2006)

Paramount Home Entertainment
DVD Released: 8/26/2008

All Ratings out of
Show: 1/2
Extras: No extras

Review by Mike Long, Posted on 8/20/2008

Following the release of The Best of Comedy Central Presents on DVD earlier this year, Paramount Home Entertainment has brought us another collection of short concerts from stand-up comics. And while this collection may not contain as many famous faces as the first release, it does provide more reliable laughs.

The selections on The Best of Comedy Central Presents II are as follows:

Dave Attell can currently be seen hosting the new version of The Gong Show on Comedy Central, and he made a name for himself with his show Insomniac on that same network. (I still can't believe that in one episode he went to Myrtle Beach!) However, before that, Attell was known as a slightly caustic, but strangely upbeat comic. With his somewhat rough appearance and his talk of smoking drinking, one would expect a dangerous show from Attell, but he's also kind of goofy and his jokes usually take an odd, whimsical turn. I had not seen this particular set, and I was in tears by the end.

Best Bit: The bull removing the man's pants.

While comics like Dave Attell or Lewis Black can be scary, Mike Birbiglia comes across as a fairly normal guy. His clean-cut appearance hides a wicked sense of humor. Mike has gotten national exposure through The Bob and Tom Show his blog is very popular. In his act, he talks about relationships and the little quirks of life. He is poignant without being vulgar.

Best Bit: His girlfriend's gay cats.

Most people probably aren't aware of the fact that Frank Caliendo has ever done stand-up. They may know him from his days on MadTV, but most know him as the guy who does a great John Madden impersonation on Fox NFL Sunday. Caliendo's entire act is based on his abilities as an impressionist, and some of them are remarkably good. From Madden to George W. Bush to Robin Williams, Caliendo is a great mimic, although he doesn't fare as well when he attempts to look like or act like his target.

Best Bit: Odd segues into John Madden while being other people.

With his thick beard, Zach Galifianakis looks more like a college professor or a homeless person than a comedian. His awkward demeanor is also part of his act. Known for cameos in films like Bubble Boy and What Happens in Vegas, Galifianakis act is like a tour of his brain. He talks about things which are seemingly personal and then segues into an odd rant. His approach may not sit well with some, but there's no denying the comedy in his routine.

Best Bit: The timid pimp.

When comedians pull out the guitar, I often roll my eyes, as they are about to prove that they are simply frustrated rock stars. But, what about a comedian whose entire act is music? That's what we get with Stephen Lynch, who played Robbie Hart in The Wedding Singer on Broadway. Lynch oddly chooses to open with a very sacrilegious, and then launches into ditties which are both odd and cruel, but often funny. Despite the fact that Lynch annunciates rather well, those who have trouble deciphering lyrics may want to turn on the closed captions.

Best Bit: The Satan Song

Patton Oswalt is now known to the world as the voice of Remy in Ratatouille and before that, he co-starred on The King of Queens. Well, he’s apparently tried his hand at stand-up comedy as well. I hope that the rat movie paid well, because he doesn’t have a future as comedian. He bombs from the outset, and his jokes simply aren’t funny. They aren’t crass or offensive, they just aren’t funny.

Best Bit: None

Nick Swardson may be one of the most peculiar performers to emerge over the past few years. Through small roles in Grandma’s Boy, Blades of Glory, David Spade’s underrated talk show, and his recurring role on Reno: 911!, Swardson has made a niche playing oddly effeminate and obsessive characters. His stand-up is surprisingly straight-forward, although most of the jokes seem to be more for him than for us. Still, there’s some funny stuff here, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the jokes used in a movie or show at some point.

Best Bit: Babies vs. Drunk People

You may not have seen Daniel Tosh, unless it was on The Tonight Show or in a series of commercials that he did for Taco Bell. Despite this, his act is definitely worth catching. While Tosh acts as if he’s nervous, and thus his delivery is a bit weird, his scathing jokes are very funny, as he touches on many issues. Not many comics can go from jet skits to sex toys to jokes about race in one act. (In Tosh’s full set, he gets very raw and clearly goes out of his way to shock the audience.)

Best Bit: Cargo Pants

Unlike the first The Best of Comedy Central Presents release, this one is more consistent and offers more laughs per minute.

The Best of Comedy Central Presents II chuckles its way onto DVD courtesy of Paramount Home Entertainment. The eight segments are all presented in their original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. As the episodes were taken from different seasons, there is some variation in the video quality. However, for the most part the image is fairly sharp and clear. The only real issue here is occasional video noise. Otherwise, the colors look good and the picture shows no defects. The DVD carries a Dolby stereo audio track. This allows the jokes to come through loud and clear, while the audience noise remains in the background.

There are no extras on this DVD.

Review Copyright 2008 by Mike Long