Shout! Factory // 2006 // 80 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Neal Masri (Retired) // September 6th, 2006
How many times has this happened to you? We've all got some bonehead in us, but only America's Funniest Home Videos has it on tape.
Most reality television shows call for people to be placed in the most unrealistic of circumstances -- weird contests on deserted islands, locked in a houses with 200 cameras, or something equally hokey. AFV, however, is truly reality television. The nincompoopery on display here is as genuine as the 12-pack of Milwaukee's Best that guy must have consumed prior to attempting to jump from his trampoline into his pool.
This show is reality, pure and unfiltered. Therein lies the appeal. These people are recognizable. They are your kids, your neighbors, or that jackass you know who coerced a crayfish into pinching his nipple (I kid you not, it's actually been on this show). I guess for some, being famous for sheer stupidity is better than not being famous at all.
We have two one-hour episodes on this disc. One from the Bob Saget era ("Salute to Boneheads"), and one from the current Tom Bergeron era ("Nincompoop-a-rama"). There is an interesting contrast in tone between the two shows. Saget's clips have more funny voices and added sound effects over the clips. Bergeron's show tends to let the clips speak for themselves with only the insertion of an occasional sarcastic comment. I have to say that I prefer the latter approach. Most of these clips are funny or outrageous enough to speak for themselves. As a general rule, less host is more as far as AFV is concerned.
Slapstick may very well be the oldest form of comedy and it seems to always draw a laugh. The type of clips in "Nincompoops and Boneheads" are the ones at which I generally laugh the hardest. It's nice to have them all on one show, free of the cute marriage proposals, funny babies, and stupid pet tricks.
I am not too proud to admit that this show has been a staple of my Sunday night viewing regimen for a number of years now. This is comfort television of the highest order -- my comfort mainly being that at least I haven't slammed my crotch into a pole as hard as one guy on this disc. Seriously though, there are a fair number of laughs to be had here. Many of the falls, stupid stunts, and sheer clumsiness on display would make the guys from Jackass proud.
Don't expect this disc to give your video or audio systems much of a workout. The in-studio scenes with the hosts are fairly sharp but, as you might guess, the quality of the amateur videos varies wildly. The Dolby Stereo track gets the job done.
So there we have it. I don't think there are many people out there who don't know what to expect from this release. It's hard to believe this show has been on for 15 years, but I can certainly see why. I mean, really, does watching a guy take a wiffle ball to the crotch ever stop being funny?
It's also nice to see the occasional amateur video that does not star Paris Hilton or Pamela Anderson.
Review content copyright © 2006 Neal Masri; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Shout! Factory
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 80 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site