Case Number 17280: Small Claims Court

JUST FOR LAUGHS: OVER THE EDGE

Image Entertainment // 2009 // 89 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Roy Hrab (Retired) // September 17th, 2009

The Charge

Comedy so over the top, it's over the edge!

The Case

The "Just For Laughs" comedy festival in Montreal, Canada, is the world's largest and most famous comedy celebration. Every year top tier comedians flock to the city to perform. Just For Laughs: Over The Edge features a baker's dozen of performances from over the years.

Who's on tap?

1. Bill Burr (Down And Dirty With Jim Norton)
2. Lewis Black (Lewis Black: Unleashed)
3. Greg Fitzsimmons
4. Flight of the Conchords (Flight Of The Conchords)
5. Greg Giraldo (Dave Attell's Insomniac Tour Uncensored)
6. Jeffrey Ross (Jeffrey Ross: No Offense)
7. Jeremy Hotz (Speed 2: Cruise Control)
8. Bonnie McFarlane (National Lampoon Live New Faces (Volume 1) )
9. Jim Gaffigan (Jim Gaffigan: King Baby)
10. Arj Barker (Flight Of The Conchords)
11. Mitch Hedberg (The Best Of Comedy Central Presents)
12. Norm MacDonald (Dr. Dolittle 2)
13. Tommy Tiernan (Tommy Tiernan: Something Mental)

When I finished watching these acts, I had one question: What's so "over the edge" about them? There's nothing particularly edgy, offensive, or cringe-worthy here (except for one segment in the extras, but more about that later). It's mostly standard stuff about relationships, marriage, religion, and politics. Lewis Black (one of my least favorite comics) struts around his typical ranting style about George Bush and how to fight terrorism. Jim Gaffigan performs his always-funny confessions about being lazy, plus the bottled water bit. The late Mitch Hedberg gives his amusing stoner-like observations. The Flight of the Conchords perform "Business Time" and "Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros." A very young Norm MacDonald gives an extremely dated routine involving riffing on Star Search. There is nothing particularly memorable, however. The fact that each comic only has a short amount of stage time doesn't help either. Nobody has much time to build momentum.

There are some minor extras featuring backstage footage. The first are interviews by Canadian comic Shaun Majumder (Cedric The Entertainer Presents: The Complete Series) of Burr, Tiernan, McFarlane, and Fitzsimmons. Majumder conducts the interviews as the profusely sweaty and bumbling Raj Binder. If you don't live in Canada chances are you've never seen Majumder doing the Binder character. Consider yourself lucky. It is an amazingly annoying and unfunny shtick that seems to elicit a legitimately angry outburst from Fitzsimmons. The Binder character is so agonizingly lame that I can't fathom why the "Just For Laughs" festival gave him such prominence. There is also some additional backstage footage involving Giraldo, Ross, and Gaffigan. Nothing particularly memorable here, but at least it doesn't involve Binder.

While the production values are decent, you definitely won't confuse this with the polish of a Comedy Central or HBO special. The image quality is ok, you can see the performers just fine. Ditto for the audio: Nothing fancy, but nothing horrible.

This is barely worth renting. Many of the performers here have their own specials and/or shows available elsewhere on DVD that are far, far superior to anything you'll see on this release.

The Verdict

Guilty.

Review content copyright © 2009 Roy Hrab; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 50

Perp Profile
Studio: Image Entertainment
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 89 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Backstage Footage

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0294660/combined

* Official Site
http://www.hahaha.com/en/