Case Number 08713: Small Claims Court

ALONZO BODDEN: TALL, DARK AND FUNNY

Goldhil Home Media // 2006 // 57 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // March 2nd, 2006

The Charge

This guy is funny.

The Case

Of the crew of stand-up comics competing against each other in NBC's Last Comic Standing (Seasons 2 and 3), Alonzo Bodden was one of the few actually funny ones. I suppose that's easy to do when you're up against performers like Ant and Tess and Dat Phan. Still, he was a standout in the crowded field of quality players in the second season, and outshined everyone else on the third season, where contestants from both seasons competed against each other for $250,000. He actually won that competition, but NBC had milked the series to death by then, and the show was pulled before the finale.

Now here he is with his own DVD, an hour-long stand-up special where he takes aim at everything from the political right to his infatuation with fake breasts. From his days on Last Comic Standing, I've always found his material the most even. He has a very reserved delivery, and mainly lets the jokes speak for themselves. I can appreciate that.

This is a nice selection of Bodden's stand-up. He covers a lot of bases with his observations, and comes across as an equal-opportunity lampooner. For example, he lays into the right wing a bit, but that's after he says he used to do Democrat jokes and they change their position so much he has to rewrite his material every night. The right, for him, is an easy target because they "sit at home to see if SpongeBob is gay." An obvious joke, but delivered well. Unfortunately, this particular sequence unraveled when Bodden went for the cheap Christians-shouldn't-be-too-quick-to-judge-because-they-all-abuse-little-boys" tactic. It's a hack job, sure, but, worse, it wasn't funny.

Still, that misfire wasn't enough to deep-six the man's routine. After all, you can't be perfect. The hit-to-miss ratio for Bodden's material was easily four to one, so I'll interpret that as a successful program. And though he kind of lost traction with the crowd toward the end, for the most part he had the audience rolling.

Probably the thing about Bodden I like the most is his self-deprecation. It's not abundant, but I've always found this trait endearing to comedians. Toward the end of his set, he talks about race relations: "I love white guys. Without you, there wouldn't be any white girls! We need you for breeding!" Then he goes on about how people might find him intimidating even though he grew up in suburban New York, and how the only trouble he can cause would be mixing it up in a Starbucks. See, I like that. The dude looks like a total bad-ass, but he's not afraid to knock himself down a few pegs.

I've got nothing else to say really. If you liked Bodden on the show, you'll like this DVD. In fact, I'd recommend it to any fans of quality stand-up. The guy's a total pro, and boasts some strong material. And ignore "Tall, Dark, and Funny," one of the lamest titles for a stand-up program ever.

We've got a smooth DVD production here, with the clear picture done up in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and a 5.1 Dolby Digital mix pushing the sound. About three minutes of deleted footage is it for extras, which is kind of a bummer. It would have been nice to get some candid stuff with the star.

Review content copyright © 2006 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 90

Perp Profile
Studio: Goldhil Home Media
Video Formats:
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)

Subtitles:
* English

Running Time: 57 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Deleted Scenes

Accomplices
* Alonzo Bodden's Official Site
http://www.alonzobodden.com/home.html