Judge David Johnson takes personal offense to this charge, sir.
Corey Holcomb: Funny ha-ha?
Most of you may recognize Corey Holcomb from NBC's controversy-plagued Last Comic Standing. That was the first time I was privy to him. From the show, I found him to be one of the funnier cast members and definitely one of the most easy-going (granted, the season has just started, so in a week or two this review might be embarrassingly dated.)
As such, Shout! Factory's 35 minute-or-so release of Holcomb's stand-up piqued my interest. Was this guy consistently funny or did he merely sport a handful of go-to bits?
First off, judging from what I've seen of him on this DVD and his appearance on Last Comic Standing, the guy has a great smile, a seemingly amiable disposition, and can really groove with the crowd. The audience eats him up and he has a terrific stage presence, bolstered by a healthy dose of self-deprecation.
On stage he's jovial, laid-back (he cradles a drink and nurses it throughout this act), and emanates a kind of "every-guy attitude." I found this to be a refreshing approach.
Holcomb's entire act focuses on relationships. This is a good thing and a bad thing. Obviously his strong suit, the trials and tribulations of adult dating and couple-hood has bred a fertile ground for Holcomb's wry observations.
He unleashes all sorts of insights and remarks, from meeting your date for the first time (and deciding whether or not she's a $10 date) to the risks of long-term commitment (the ecstasy of choosing the right mate and the agony of choosing the wrong one) to fatherhood ("I have two six year-olds and they ain't twins"). Most of these bits range from semi-humorous to pretty darn humorous.
But—and here is the other shoe dropping—his allegiance to this one topic can grow stale with sustained viewing. As a viewer, I just lingered in this rut of deconstructing relationship happenings. Holcomb is certainly clever, but he doesn't bring enough new ideas and fresh takes to this favorite target-topic of comics.
Perhaps this is the niche he wants to carve out for himself. He seems to be popular because of it. He is, after all, the self-professed "Ghetto Dr. Phil" (a moniker that seems a tad bit amateurish).
The DVD offers a generous helping of Corey Holcomb-osity. Extras include "Get the #*!# Away from Each Other: Free Advice from Corey" (where he lays on the Ghetto Dr. Phil routine thick), Corey's Love Lair (a screen setting for your television), and a goofy backstage interview (where it's hard to separate fact from fiction). But wait, there's more! Also included is an audio-only disc featuring the same comedy set presented on the DVD. This is a real nice addition, though I had wished for maybe a different act to hear some more of his material.
Sound is okay with a stereo mix and serves its purpose efficiently enough (e.g. I can hear Corey Holcomb talk). Ditto the full-frame video (e.g. I can see Corey Holcomb talk).
Bottom line: Corey Holcomb is certainly funnier than the average comic, can probably win Last Comic Standing, owns the stage when he's on it, and projects a great personality, but suffers from a one-topic focus of hit or miss jokes, that, if he's going to commit to just one topic, needs to hit a lot more than he does. I'd love to see him tackle other subjects.
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Other Reviews You Might Enjoy
Scales of Justice
Studio: Shout! Factory
• Free Advice from Corey
Review content copyright © 2004 David Johnson; Site design and review layout copyright © 2014 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.