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Case Number 20858: Small Claims Court

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Daniel Tosh: Happy Thoughts

Comedy Central // 2011 // 58 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // March 8th, 2011

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All Rise...

When Judge Patrick Naugle's "Spider Song" goes viral, he's sure to receive a web redemption.

The Charge

If you aren't offended you weren't listening.

The Case

One of the biggest hits in 2010 was Comedy Central's original show Tosh.0 featuring comedian Daniel Tosh making fun of anything and everything that the internet has to offer. Tosh's take-no-prisoners style has become its own sensation. Did you see a video on YouTube where a monkey peed into a car's gas tank while an octopus was eating a litter of kitties while lighting its own farts? If so, chances are that Daniel Tosh and his writing team has already made a comment funnier than what you just came up with.

What most people don't know is that Daniel Tosh started out as a stand-up comedian. Tosh's first special, Daniel Tosh: Completely Serious, featured the comedian at his biting best. In Daniel Tosh: Happy Thoughts, Tosh decides to take the idea of decency and good taste and not only run it over with a lawnmower, but also stuff it inside a raccoon's butt and throw it into a playground of handicapped kids. Let me be clear when I tell you that Daniel Tosh: Happy Thoughts is not for anyone who is easily offended. Tosh's comedic style is brash, uneasy and never politically correct. He often puts down (read: he doesn't really mean it) homosexuals, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, old folks, babies and people who get decapitated on roller coasters (a small minority, I realize, but an important one nonetheless). If Tosh's humor were a movie it would be The War of the Roses, only a LOT darker.

Personally, I find Tosh's style both refreshing and amusing. Life is too hard and long to take it seriously, and sometimes even taboo topics need to be laughed at. When the envelope is pushed to the max—at one point Tosh jokes about having sex with a Messianic Jesus-like baby—things get a little uneasy in the room. Then again, to summarize Tosh's feelings about that joke, shame on you for being offended by a situation that could never happen. I like that fact that Tosh doesn't feel the need to pussyfoot around topics or comedic ideas—people who get offended by this kind of material are the ones who forget that they are watching a comedian who is making jokes. From someone who also likes to make people laugh, often it's forgotten that what a comedian says is meant to service the laugh, not to express an actual thought or opinion. When Tosh jokes that he hates the poor but has set up a charity for tax purposes, no one thinks he actually can't stand the downtrodden and homeless.

Although Tosh's humor can sometimes come off as caustic and barbed, he also has a few good points to make. In one particularly funny rant about steroids and sports stars, Tosh points out that in the history books they will "put an asterisk next to Barry Bonds name because of steroids. Sure, as soon as we put one next to Babe Ruth's record! Getting to break records before black people were allowed to play…where's that asterisk?" In almost the same breath he makes the funny observation: "Baseball is a strike away from being soccer. And if you like soccer, welcome to America! Our country already has entertainment, so watching people chase a ball for four hours to end in a zero/zero score is not enjoyable unless, of course, the bleachers collapse and half of Europe dies." It's these moments than induce my favorite of all laughs: the groaning laughter. You don't want to laugh because it's harsh (most of us don't want to see half of Europe crushed by concrete bleachers), but dang if isn't also acidic and funny!

If you're a fan of stand-up comedy I can easily recommend this special to you. Daniel Tosh's humor won't be to everybody's tastes, but if you have the stomach for laughing at the darker side of life, Daniel Tosh: Happy Thoughts is your cup of cynicism.

Daniel Tosh: Happy Thoughts is presented in its original format of 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Paramount has produced a very good looking transfer for this particular medium—although there isn't a lot of variation here (mostly whites, blacks and some speckling of colors), overall this is a solid transfer that is crisp and clean of most defects and problems. The soundtrack is presented in a serviceable English Stereo mix (that's all that's indicated on the case) that is front heavy save for some laughter from the side and rear speakers. No alternate soundtracks or subtitles are included on this disc.

Fans will be happy to see that Paramount has included a few extra features, including a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Tosh working at Comedy Central's Tosh.0 ("A Day in the Life"), an encore with about 10 minutes of extra material, the original special as aired on Comedy Central, plus some material from Tosh's opening acts, Jasper Redd (funny) and Matt Fulchiron (so-so).

The Verdict

Daniel Tosh: Happy Thoughts is funny stuff if you can stomach Tosh's brand of bizarre humor. Recommended for those who thought the end of Titanic was HIGH-sterical.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 93

Perp Profile

Studio: Comedy Central
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 58 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Comedy
• Performance
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Featurette
• Encore
• Opening Acts

Accomplices

• IMDb
• Tosh.0








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