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Case Number 04876: Small Claims Court

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Corey Holcomb: The Problem Is You

Shout! Factory // 2004 // 35 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 29th, 2004

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson takes personal offense to this charge, sir.

The Charge

Corey Holcomb: Funny ha-ha?

The Case

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.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 83

Perp Profile

Studio: Shout! Factory
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 35 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Comedy
• Performance

Distinguishing Marks

• Free Advice from Corey
• Backstage interview
• Mood-setting TV screen
• Audio-only disc


• Last Comic Standing 2

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