Saturday, May 29, 2010

Comedy DVD Review: David Cross -- Bigger and Blackerer (2010)

Now Available to Own

From dubbing Mormonism “the Scientology of its day” to walking us through what it's like to buy batteries when you're tripping, there's a lot to enjoy in David Cross's new DVD Bigger and Blackerer that was shot over the course of two shows in his hometown of Boston, Massachusetts.

And though it's an uneven hour since David Cross is inventive to a fault given a few staged gimmicks concerning a fan who shows up to sign his own jokes that falls flat, he's nonetheless a likable comic who finds inspiration in everything from the SkyMall catalog to a badly written postcard about date rape, thereby making you admire the mind behind the musings all the more.

To put it another way, Cross is one of those comedians with whom you find yourself agreeing rather than falling out of your chair laughing over which makes his appeal both universal as the type of “funny sidekick” you wish was in your group yet it's likewise limiting since his cleverness often gets the best of him in odd segues when he simply gets distracted or says, “well that bit's kind of gone.”

Admirably with Cross, you can see the wheels turning in his mind while he delivers, taking in what the audience is finding funny and then structuring a line to suit whether it's asking them why they're laughing before the punchline – a common occurrence on these DVDs we discover – or in an extra feature, oddly standing up for Dane Cook when he realizes a female audience member is a fan.

It's not often you find a comedian joking he's going to do a benefit for another comic in an act of support in the midst of his own DVD but again, it illustrates Cross's true nature as a man concerned with something other than his own ego that comes right through in his most successful sequences when he analyzes the comedy goldmine of religion and politics.

And although he confesses that he isn't above airplane jokes since they're the ones viewers will be wishing for once he hits religion, honestly – and not just because I agreed with Cross – he could've done an entire set on the hypocrisy of religion or confounding bible facts since his takes on it were so unusually fresh.

In fact, he's a better religious comic than he is a political one, giving Bill Maher quite a run for his money on the Religulous subject that stands as the best segment contained in his entire act of routinely solid bits that again, we were smiling and cheering about mentally far more often than we were ready to bust a gut as Cross might say.

Aside from another staged audience gag that doesn't quite work, you're going to want to explore the disc's extra features to see an even funnier finale in the form of a long, hilarious and highly involved anecdote that illustrates his brilliance as a writer and observer of nature along with his unexpected rise to the defense of Dane Cook.

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