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Case Number 16265: Small Claims Court

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Down And Dirty With Jim Norton

HBO // 2008 // 120 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // April 30th, 2009

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson is down and dirty. Literally. He's sad and hasn't taken a shower in four days.

The Charge

Get down with the dirty.

The Case

HBO's latest stand-up comedy series is—are you ready for this?—edgy. I know you might find that hard to believe, but these stand-up comics have potty mouths and twisted senses of humor and hence they end up landing this prime gig as "down and dirty" comics.

Jim Norton, who has carved out an impressive career as an edgy comic, hosts. Unfortunately for the rest of the talent on display, he's significantly funnier than them, even in his brief openers.

Look, judging stand-up discs is a tricky endeavor. Obviously, this stuff is highly subjective. Maybe you're a Gallagher fan. Perhaps Carrot Top is your man. Or is it the comic shenanigans of Wienerville that get you on the floor rolling? If you're nodding at any of this then I'd advise you to look elsewhere for your stand-up fix, because these comics don't hold anything back.

Unfortunately, all the frank talk about oral sex and masturbation (there are a lot of jokes about masturbation) and penises and whatever else naughty subject you can conjure don't necessarily yield big laughs. I find Jim Norton hilarious, and he's certainly a sicko, but the other acts didn't quite cut it. Even the big guns, like Bill Burr or Artie Lange or Andrew Dice Clay (whose entire act, as far as I can tell, consisted of calling people a-holes and no jokes) didn't offer up memorable sets.

Not that it was a wasteland of laughs. There were definitely gags that worked and a handful of comics who rose above the rest; a few new names to me that stood out were Anthony Jeselnik, Ari Shaffir and Russ Meneve). Oh, and Patrice O'Neal was pretty funny.

Overall, it's a decent but not spectacular lineup of B-lister comics spouting off dirty humor to a ginned-up crowd. I think you'll dig this, if you like your stand-up raw and envelope-pushing (though it has to be asked: if the same kind of edgy fodder is repeated over and over by different comics, when does it become clichéd?)

The DVD is low-impact: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, 2.0 stereo and no extras.

The Verdict

I laughed, so not guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: HBO
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English (CC)
Running Time: 120 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Comedy
• Performance
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• IMDb

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