Judge Brett Cullum likes his New York Italian comics both coarse and cuddly, like a leather teddy bear.
"What if God's a woman? Not only am I going to hell, I'll never know why!"
You probably already know Adam Ferrara, if you're fan of the television shows Rescue Me and The Job, or if you trudged out to see Paul Blart: Mall Cop at your local multiplex. He's a funny Italian guy from New York who pokes fun at his Catholic heritage and his inability to communicate with women. Funny as Hell captures the comic actor doing what he does best: a relaxed standup show in front of an appreciative audience. What makes Adam's comedy work so well is he tells stories that have sharp, emotionally truthful insights. He can almost make you tear up when he talks about his father's fight with cancer, but wait two seconds and a punchline will be launched. The routine here covers all the biggies: travel, religion, dating, and family. Ferrara has a conventional style and pattern to his show, but he seems to think more about people and why they are fascinating rather than simply making a "potty joke." You end up walking away loving him and his humor in equal doses, because when the applause comes you seem to know Adam better than you did going in.
Image Entertainment gives you what you'd expect in a comedy DVD: all the basics and just a smattering of extra content. The language is completely uncensored, we get a special introduction sequence, and there are some outtakes, a photo shoot, and an interview with his parents. The outtake is just Adam getting some help fixing a sound problem. The photo shoot is half a minute of him goofing off with a model as they shoot the cover of the DVD. Finally, they show a short clip of his parents talking about David Letterman and going to watch a taping of the late night show when Adam was appearing on it. The visual presentation is in widescreen and looks fine for a comedy concert. The audio track is the expected but adequate stereo. There are no subtitles or alternate language tracks.
It's no shocker Adam Ferrara hangs out a lot with Dennis Leary, another comic known for his intellect as much as his wit. Yet Ferrara has developed his own unique brand of rude comedy mixed with emotional truth that lets him stand out among other stand-ups. Funny as Hell captures a performance that lets the viewer see this clearly. Image Entertainment provides us with a nice package that offers a widescreen picture and a couple of minutes of extras.
Guilty of being funny as hell, but also deep and caring.
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