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Music Video Distributors presents
Comedy's Dirtiest Dozen (1989)

"I had a woman living with me for fourteen days. Then she chewed through the ropes and got away."
- Monty Hoffman

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: April 11, 2002

Stars: Tim Allen, John Fox, Joey Gaynor, Bill Hicks, Stephanie Hodge, Monty Hoffman, Jackie Martling, Otto & George, Chris Rock, Steven Pearl, Larry Scarano, Thea Vidale, Barry Berry, Big Ed Weldon, Billy Elmer, Tim O'Rourke, Marci Rose, Mark Rossi, Bob Woods
Director: Stuart Shapiro

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (language)
Run Time: 02h:41m:10s
Release Date: December 04, 2001
UPC: 022891100690
Genre: comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C+ C+D+C- D+

DVD Review

One would think that a DVD featuring twenty standup comics, some promising to be "dirty," would be a fall-on-the-floor laugh riot. Not so with this double-feature. The few bright spots (Otto & George, Chris Rock, Bill Hicks) are buried between painfully unfunny acts like Thea Vidale, Joey Gaynor and Stephanie Hodge.

Comedy's Dirtiest Dozen (01:29:55)
I love a dirty joke as much as the next guy, but there's a fine line between clever, but crude humor and simply tossing out expletives for shock value. Most of the comics in this 1988 concert opt for the latter tactic, and have very little to offer in the way of actual humor. Aside from a few dated references (Jesse Jackson running for President, the 1988 Olympics, Bernard Goetz, Ronald Reagan), the twelve comics featured here work the blue material pretty hard, and most simply utter a string of mostly unfunny sex jokes laced with obscenities (Jackie Martling or Larry Scarano). The audience doesn't really sound like they're rolling in the aisles, either.

There is very little actual comedy to be found here, except for a viciously graphic set by ventriloquist act Otto & George that is really the standout performance. It is dark, twisted and wonderfully perverted. I would have preferred more Otto & George and four or five less comedians.

The selling point in Comedy's Dirtiest Dozen is the appearance of some big name acts, most notably Tim Allen, Chris Rock, and Bill Hicks. Allen works his standup act that launched the forgettable Home Improvement series, full of male observations, mostly centered on testicles, and his whole "men are pigs" bit. Rock, just 21 here, delivers a great bit on having masturbatory fantasies about Aunt Jemima that is pretty damn funny, though his set is a bit uneven. Of course the late Bill Hicks dishes out the smartest six minutes of the bunch, and his sharp-tongued observational humor shows what a great comic he really was, and his style of comedy uses obscenities as subtle punctuation, and not blatant exclamations.

Featured comics are:
Tim Allen
John Fox
Joey Gaynor
Bill Hicks
Stephanie Hodge
Monty Hoffman
Jackie Martling
Otto & George
Chris Rock
Steven Pearl
Larry Scarano
Thea Vidale

Heavyweights of Comedy (01:11:12)
The second feature on this disc, another Stuart Shapiro project, is an even less funny 1998 show that features strictly fat comics, which seems about as inspired as having just "tall" ones. Since when is sheer girth a conduit for comedy? To be sure, all of the acts are hefty, and even get their weight announced as they're introduced. The humor isn't as coarse as in Comedy's Dirtiest Dozen, and most of it centers around how large they are. The event is hosted by Queen Kong, who I guess is or was a wrestler, and she is nothing short of embarrassing to watch. The saddest part of this segment is that it includes another tired set by Thea Vidale, in her gold Tina Turner wig.

Featured comics are:
Barry Berry
Big Ed Weldon
Billy Elmer
Tim O'Rourke
Marci Rose
Mark Rossi
Thea Vidale
Bob Woods

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: C+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The widescreen transfer, which looks to be 1.78:1 is generally grainy, dark and washed out, and a couple of times the image actually rolls (no doubt a duplication flaw when this was copied from a video source). Tiny white specks only add to the already marred image quality. Color bloom is a constant annoyance.

Image Transfer Grade: D+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: The only good thing I can say about the flat 2-channel stereo track, which sounds suspiciously like mono, is that at least it is audible. Audio levels tend to clip a bit during louder moments, resulting in mild distortion, and sometimes the audience laughter sounds like crinkling cellophane.

Audio Transfer Grade: C-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Photo Gallery
Extras Review: Not much in the way of extras here, other than a photo gallery of the featured comics. Chaptering is adequate on each, with Comedy's Dirtiest Dozen at 14 chapters, and Heavyweights Of Comedy at 10.

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

Comedy isn't always pretty, and most of the comics on this disc prove that. A few laughs pop up intermittently, but they are few and far between. Even the chance to see Bill Hicks, Otto & George and Chris Rock on the same stage makes this outing only mildly worthwhile.


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