There is a lot more to Bruce Fine than what you actually see. I am not talking here about the fact that he is 5'1" but about the fact his independent release comedy CD, Actual Size, comes in a slim case (hate them) and the liner looks like a bad photocopy but it is not. The CD, at under 35 minutes is short and I was left wanting more. Not because of some price / content ratio but because Bruce Fine if one hell of a good stand-up comic and one of the most original comics (independent or not) I have heard in the recent past. The fact he wrote for and guest starred on My Wife and Kids (ABC) and was the comedy producer for The Wayne Brady Show (it should not have been cancelled) might impress, the talent and material impress more.
Bruce Fine's topics are gas stations that sell health products, the various scents of air fresheners, and a very different and original take on grocery shopping. His funny jokes about Costco are so different from the standard stand-up comic's take I'd actually like to hear Bruce Fine do a funny story about airports and air travel (every stand-up comic's favorite filler topic). Actual Size also features Fine discussing store names for guy stores and girl stores (you have to hear it to believe how funny this can be and how original Bruce Fine is).
Actual Size was recorded live at Harrah's in Las Vegas. Bruce Fine gets a lot of work in Vegas so it explains why there are at least three tracks of funny jokes about people in Vegas. Not since an old Bill Cosby double album titled 8:45 11:45 have I heard a different take on the standard they are taking your money and guy gone broke jokes.
I have a predilection for comics who work with the audience. I have always seen it as the stand-up comic version of an acrobat working without a net. Not that many comics try this, few are good at it. Bruce Fine is good enough at it he uses this skill as the opening for his funny comedy about relationships that quickly segues over a few tracks to more testosterone comedy topics like strip clubs, the closing jokes on Actual Size.
We were lucky enough to get a review copy of Actual Size by Bruce Fine. Though this never clouds our judgment about whether a comedy CD is bad, decent, good, very good, or excellent, and this one is excellent, I am not sure that, as a consumer, I would not have been a tad wee bit miffed at the packaging of this CD. But once I would have gotten over that, I certainly would have checked out Bruce Fine's website for news of a new release and bought that one too.