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Comedy Reviews - CD - Various Stand-Up Comics - Invite Them Up

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Invite Them Up
Bobby Tisdale, Eugene Mirman, Mike Birbiglia
Todd Barry, David Cross
3 CDs and 1 DVD
Comedy Central Records 2005
More than 4 hours total
Distributed in Canada by Fusion 3

Invite Them Up is a pretty good stand-up comedy and other stuff collection from Comedy Central Records. Considering the price, it is an almost excellent set. The "pretty good" and "almost excellent" are there only because I simply cannot stand comic Bobby Tisdale (imagine the worst house comic MC you have ever heard and put this guy a skyscraper above Tisdale) and as house MC he is on just about every single track and, consequently, on every single disc in this collection. This guy aside, Invite Them Up is great fun and a really interesting mix of various styles of comedy.

The approach used for Invite Them Up is basically someone recorded everything and did not edit much, if anything, out of the evening so the stand-up comics and other acts are presented warts and all. This is fun and fairly original although sometimes you do get a couple three minutes of the act setting up or getting their stuff on stage and so on. My impression is some minor editing could have been done to take out the really long set-ups and so on without taking away from the live, as is feel of this show.

Such a hodge-podge approach will lead to hits and misses. CD 1 runs 65 minutes. The highlight of the first comedy CD in this generous package is definitely Mike Birbiglia. Demetri Martin does stand-up accompanied by a guitar. Invite Them Up co-host Demetri Martin. Craig Baldo does a regular feature called Thirty Seconds of Stand-Up. Good stuff but the track is 2 minutes of Tisdale intro and 30 seconds of real stand-up comic. The Doilies do some adult-oriented funny song comedy that is not bad although they sure can't whistle. Stand-up comic John Glaser is next and does a pretty good set. Craig Wedren closes this CD with a funny song set.

CD 2 of Invite Them Up runs 62 minutes. Stand-up comic Aziz Ansari kicks ass with some very good material and a very tight set on gay marriage, various rap musicians. His delivery will definitely remind some of Mitch Hedberg, not that he is that good. God's Pottery is a pretty good musical comedy act. Jessi Klein is an okay stand-up comic. David Wain is a funny singer act without much of a voice. Thirty Seconds of Comedy by Chelsea Peretti follows. Tom McCaffrey is another pretty good stand-up comedian who benefits from the Invite Them Up very generous audience. Andrea Rosen performs her thirty seconds of stand-up. She really yells her act. Marcellus Hall closes this second CD with a pretty good little tune.

Invite Them Up CD 3 opens with show creator Eugene Mirman. His comedy is much better than his video work. The highlight of this particular comedy CD is Todd Barry who performs a very solid set. You can skip the Bobby Tisdale track. A.D. Miles' set suffers from him walking away from the mic a couple of times and long set-ups about what seems to be a slide show (on CD no less). Even invite Them Up's pretty generous audience doesn't quite go for this bit. Andy Blitz is an okay comic. Patrick Borelli is also not bad. David Cross shows up on stage as Jon Benjamin's obgyn in a two-man comedy bit. David Cross fans will enjoy this unusual bit comedy fans will also appreciate. Langhorne Slim is a musical act that sounds like someone is playing a vinyl record at the wrong speed.

The Invite Them Up DVD is hit and miss and runs a bit over an hour. You get the video version of some of the comedy acts on the CDs and a few others. The video quality is basically okay coming from a camera set up some comedy clubs have so fans in the back can watch the show on a TV. A lot of the cuts here are basically acts that weren't good enough to get on the CDs. This is especially true of the Fuggedabuddies, two guys wearing ball caps who do stuff: forget about it. Eugene Mirman's Videos are basically 2 clips of Mirman talking to a camera and one clip of an amateur (no, really) doing his 30 seconds of stand-up.

There is something for everyone on Invite Them Up. There are stand-up comics, comedy sketch troupes, comics who do funny songs and stuff, and a whole bunch of other pretty weird and out there funny bits. Again, a little bit of editing, such as removing the thirty seconds or so it sometimes takes a comic to set up on stage and wiggle the mic around, would not have taken away from the "live as" feel to this generous 3 comedy CD and 1 comedy DVD package. Removing Bobby Tisdale would have been brilliant but as this is a warts and all concept, you get the wart.

Track List:

CD 1

Intro Bobby Tisdale
Mike Birbiglia
Demetri Martin (also on DVD)
Eugene Mirman
Craig Baldo
The Doilies
Jon Glaser
Craig Wedren

CD 2

Intro Bobby Tisdale
Aziz Ansari
God's Pottery (also on DVD)
Jessi Klein
David Wain
Chelsea Peretti
Tom McCaffrey
Andrea Rosen
Marcellus Hall

CD 3

Eugene Mirman
Todd Barry
Bobby Tisdale
A.D. Miles
Andy Blitz
Patrick Borelli
Jon Benjamin and David Cross (also on DVD)
Langhorne Slim (also on DVD)

DVD

Comedians:
Heather Lawless
God's Pottery
Slovin and Miles
Demetri Martin
Fuggedabuddies
Toni Escolollini

Musicians:
Amy Miles / Shonali
Langhorne Slim

Eugene's Videos:
Sir Eugene
Eugch (Sex Expert)
Guy On Stage

 

Other Various Stand-Up Comics Reviews

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Play The Word - Volume 2: Jay Kogen, Cindy Chupack, Eric Gilliland, Beth Lapides, Julia Sweeny, Cindy Camponera, Rob Cohen

Before They Were Kings Volume 1: a comedy Dvd featuring some old sets has not aged a bit.

Before They Were Kings Volume 2: an interesting though not a must have stand-up comedy DVD.

The Big Black Comedy Show Volume 1: The Big Black Comedy Show Volume 1 is a very solid comedy DVD

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Laughing Matters: Bad director! Bad director!! Someone take her splicing kit away, now!

Drive By Comedy: a pretty good sample style audio book comedy CD

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Cutting Edge Comedians of the 60s and 70s DVD - Capsule Review: Great Stand-up comedy TV clip collection.

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Comics Without Borders - Season One: Russell Peters hosts 18 comics in stand-up comedy variety pack

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Yuk Yuk's Guide To Canadian Stand-up: Yuk Yuk's owner presents the history of Canadian stand-up comedy in must have 5 CD audio book set featuring more than 50 stand-up comics.

The Awkward Comedy Show: Buffet style stand-up comedy DVD featuring 5 nerdy Black comics

A 420 Friendly Comedy Special: Very good comedy but not as much pot as you'd expect.

Comedy Juice All-Stars: Very good compilation from Stand Up! Records aside from Eddie Pepitone



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