Paramount // 2005 // 84 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // March 1st, 2006
More mouths from the South.
Southern Gents of Comedy is a collection of four Comedy Central Presents specials, featuring comedians with a deep-fried, Southern flavor: Ron White, Otis Lee Crenshaw, Vic Henley, and Steve McGrew. Each comedian has the stage for 20 minutes to wow the audience with their drawling observations about politics, hunting, relationships, and beer. A closer look:
White will likely be the most recognizable of the bunch. He's been part of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour and often runs with guys like Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy. The guy is a pro and came across as the most comfortable on stage, cradling his beer and puffing on his cigarette. His routine is casual and laid-back, as if he's just shooting the you-know-what with the audience. Is he a riot? In my opinion, no, but the guy does have some moves.
Highlight of the act: recounting the story of the cop who pulled him over for drunkenness in public and how he tried to make the point that he was drunk inside the bar, and, by no fault of his own, he was thrown out, into "public."
Otis Lee Crenshaw
Now I've never heard of this guy. When he first comes on stage, clad in a Confederate doo-rag and a cut-off shirt, his arms laced with cheap-looking tats, I though that maybe a wino has wandered off the street. But this hombre is easily the funniest of the four comedians on this disc. He saunters out to a keyboard, flanked by a bass player and guitar player, and launches into hilarious songs. Crenshaw has a throaty warble of a voice, and while he may sound like a yokel, his delivery is dead-on and his material is solid ("We were so poor, blues singers would come to our house when they had writer's block"). Brother had me laughing hard.
Highlight of the act: his three-part song about how instruments were like women: the piano, the guitar (it has a hole), and the bass (big and round and likes to be slapped). I know it sounds misogynistic, but it was funny. I swear.
Henley was the low point of the program for me. His material was okay, and he some decent gags, but some of his shtick got old fast. The "southerner-in-New-York" routine ("You guys talk funny!") and a surprisingly long riff on George Bush grew tedious -- though it was interesting to see a Southerner rip on a Republican. Still, that slight idiosyncrasy was overshadowed by mundane material.
Highlight of the act: uh, I don't know...pretending that New York women sound like men?
Finally, we've got this guy. McGrew proved to be pretty good, about as funny for me as Ron White. He had some strong stuff, despite some lame "man-on-the-street" intros. I've really got nothing much more to say about him other than the guy occasionally made me laugh.
Highlight of the act: talking about his ethnicity. His mom is Native American and his father is Irish. "That's a drinking problem waiting to happen."
Overall, Southern Gents of Comedy provides 84 minutes of fairly uneven stand-up. Now with accents! The one notable exception is Otis Lee Crenshaw. That guy was great. The rest of it: the poor man's Blue Collar Comedy Tour.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 84 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Comedy Central Quickies
* Comedy Central