Sunday, July 27, 2008


Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights - Hollywood to the Heartland is a comedy documentary film directed by Ari Sandel and follows the 30 day comedy of tour of several stand up comedians.

Popular comic actor Vince Vaughn brings a newly invigorating sense of Old West attitude to the world of stand up comedy as he captures the carefree spirit of Buffalo Bill's turn-of-the-century "Wild West Show" on the stage, and the cameras are rolling to capture every belly-shaking laugh in this look at the 30-day, 30-gig tour that featured Vaughn serving as emcee to a wild host of renegade comics that included John Caparulo, Ahmed Ahmed, Bret Ernst, Sebastian Maniscalco, and a whole host of surprise special guests.

Of course, when you gather as many comedians together as Vaughn did for such a high-concept tour, the laughs are sure to keep coming once the show has ended, and in addition to offering standup footage of each comic in action, the feature-film version of the tour also offers a hilarious look at what it was like for a group of fun-loving guys to make their way across the American landscape while bringing down the house night after night.

Like the movie Penelope, I forgot that Wild West Comedy Show was on my to watch list, so I have been catching up on some movie watching this weekend. Unlike Penelope however, watching Wild West came about after fighting with my girlfriend for an hour. We both decided to make up and watch a movie. We both decided on Wild West and it was a good choice, not just as a movie but as a movie to watch after you have been fighting with your girlfriend or boyfriend.

I was expecting the stand up to be bad and it does start out pretty bad. As you start to get comfortable with the movie and with the comedians however, it starts to get good. There are short interview segments with all the comedians so you get to know more about them and when you do, their stand up seems to become more funny.

The movie also has some really good music as it shows the tour bus they ride in going from state to state. The documentary adds a good balance to the stand up stuff because too much of either one would have slowed the movie down. There is a funny and touching scene when they are doing a show down in the south right as Hurricane Katrina hits. Their tour manager tells the comedians to go and hand out free tickets to their show that night to the people living in trailers who have left their homes because of the hurricane. They start to bitch and moan how they have already made plans to go to Best Buy that day and that they are all cramped in one hotel room. As soon as they start handing out the tickets and talking to the people, they realize how sharing a hotel room isn't so bad.

So they hand out the free tickets to the show and donate the money that other people paid to the show and upcoming shows to disaster relief funds. You would think that handing out the free tickets is just a gimmick and made for good footage, which probably ran through the producers minds. But let me tell you, as someone who went through Hurricane Katrina when I lived in New Orleans and had to spend a week traveling through Texas with three pairs of clothes, I could have used a good laugh one of those nights. You can tell Vaughn's and the rest of the comedians hearts are in the right place.

Vaughn is his usual self but doesn't stand out in front of everyone the whole movie. In fact, the comedians are the ones who stand out the most. Some of them are not successful enough to make the stand up gig their full time job. They talk about after the tour that they will have to go back to their day job, and hope that because of the tour, they won't have to have a day job anymore. All of the stand up comedians are top notch and I was pleased to find out that after the tour, the ones with the day jobs became successful enough, that they didn't have to go back.

Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show: 6 out of 10

The DVD has no special features.



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