Wednesday, July 24, 2013

You ain't even dark-skinned.

I've loved standup comedy as long as I can remember. As a little kid, I stayed up late watching An Evening at the Improv. In high school, it was MTV's Half Hour Comedy Hour and Def Comedy Jam. In college, I had to take it even further. I needed to see it in person. At school, we had Frank Caliendo, Norm MacDonald (booed off stage because he was f--king shitfaced) and even Wayne Brady show up. Back home in Hawai'i, I actually paid money to see Howie Mandel over Christmas Break (he was actually pretty funny). One night, years later, some friends and I braved an epic snowstorm and saw the perfect show: Mitch Hedberg, Dave Attell, and Lewis Black. It was f--king  hysterical.

As a much older man, with slightly more money and significantly less time, it appears the only way I'm going to see standup these days is to head to the theater. The movie theater. So obviously, I was pretty psyched to catch Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain and rekindle my long dormant love. Running under (!) eighty minutes, this was the perfect flick to see theatrically on a hot summer day. It was so short, I think I saw it under the guise of Yeah, I'll be right there after I get gas and grab some things at Target. Pathetic Awesome, right?

Anyway, though I didn't head into this the biggest Kevin Hart fan, it's safe to say this guy is a funny dude. While some of his jokes tend to meander, his delivery is so intense and so earnest, he commands your attention regardless. He's honest and easy to relate to. He's also pretty friggin' smart.

This flick starts off almost like a traditional movie, albeit an incredibly low-budget one. Hart and his crew are celebrating their success at a huge party in New York City. The vibe of the party begins to take a turn against him and he decides he needs to get some things off his chest. He insists he's going to head across town to the Garden and he wants everybody to come with him. One of his guys, Nate, really doesn't think he can pull it off. He's pretty sure the Olive Garden isn't open this late.
Since there is basically no way to say if this movie is good or not in any other sense than is it funny? I'm just going to touch on what I thought was amusing. Again, I was in an air-conditioned room listening to dick jokes when I should have been doing work. In that sense, this shit is pure movie magic. That said, here are the Yays and Boos.

  • Not sure if it was bullshit or not, but I liked the bit about confusing applicable and amicable.
  • Hart firmly believes that a married man can't simply take a walk. Even more impossible? Feeding some pigeons. This bit makes entirely too much sense.That ain't no pigeon!
  • I'm 900% faithful, but the bit about cheating on his wife was pretty funny.
  • Man, I'm hungry as shit. That's some CIA level man-code right there.
  • Holy shit do I love his other voice. I've tried for days to do it, but it's impossible. No, no, nooooo.
  • There's a bit about the rare occurrence when a guy just knows, absolutely knows, he's right. This killed me. Are you done? She feels so bad she promises to do something for the whole football game.
  • My God. The girl in the trunk story. Did I have another bitch in the trunk?
  • Cupcake Tuesday.
  • The seldom discussed topic of f--king a beanbag. You gonna learn today, beanbag.
  • The idea of playing dead if someone pulls a gun amused me(the entire bit about firing his security people was pretty funny). This is terrible advice. Once, I was in a place when someone pulled a gun, and playing dead never entered my mind. Not being dead, did.
  • And finally, there actually was a moment that I cried during this movie. Hart goes on and on about fighting a guy whose dick is out. Turns out, the only thing worse than this imagined scenario actually happening is winning it.

  • The only thing more awkward than seeing a movie alone, is being alone in the theater. And laughing out loud.
  • Some of the bits don't exactly work out. The deer-bra being a particular low-light.
  • IMDB has this listed as a documentary. Apparently, three minutes about how bad the bus stinks earns this classification.
  • Oh, and the weird man-on-the-street bits about how great Kevin Hart is. I mean, I'm with you guys, but try not to pull anything patting yourself on the back, okay?
  • I had actually already seen it somewhere (Conan?), but the whole bum hands thing, just seemed cruel. Shit, I laughed and everything, but something just felt wrong about the entire joke. Extra wrong.
  • And finally, even though I don't think the box-office warrants it, how about we get some more stand-up flicks? Shit, when was the last time somebody got one into the theaters? Raw?
A few years back, we went with another couple to Hershey to see Brian Regan. He always works clean, and despite that, his routine was very funny. Seeing Kevin Hart do his thing has, at the very least, piqued my interest in seeing some more standup. Tracy Morgan is in town soon, so maybe we'll bring the kids. I mean, I'm sure he doesn't get too filthy, right? I can hear the conversation with my wife now:

Honey, let me explain...

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