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DVD Review: DONALD GLOVER: WEIRDO
Studio: E1 Entertainment
Cast: Donald Glover
Director: Shannon Hartman
Release Date: April 29, 2012, 9:38 am
Rating: Not Rated for (adult themes, strong language)
Run Time: 01h:05m:12s
“Did you guys hear about that Spider-Man thing that happened with me?” - Donald Glover
Movie Grade: A
DVD Grade: B
Most of you know him as Troy in NBC’s Community and a small sampling of you might know him as his rapper alter-ego, Childish Gambino. The rest of you know him as you should: actor/comedian, Donald Glover. All is forgiven if the comedian part is new to most of you, though, as Glover is just gaining momentum on the stand-up circuit, culminating in the hour-plus Donald Glover: Weirdo. Premiering on DVD, courtesy of Entertainment One, this 65-minute program is an extended, uncensored version of the show that recently premiered on Comedy Central. With a couple of nice extras that give us a deeper look inside Donald Glover, the person, this disc is a great way to transform him into a stand-up comic force to be reckoned with.
The best thing amongst many great things in Glover’s act is how deft he is at covering a ton of hilarious ground in such a short period of time. He goes over such a wide variety of subjects that even a seasoned, veteran comedian struggles to get through in a 90-minute show, let alone a meager hour. While the introduction of some of the subject matter might cause us to think we’re going to hear standard stand-up discussions about religion, childhood, etc., it becomes clear very quickly that there’s much more of an edge to these proceedings and that Glover prefers to take things into much darker and therefore interesting territory. Still, the bottom line is whether the material is gut-busting funny or not, and the answer to that question here is a resounding yes!
Glover’s take on old-school rap is one of the funniest jokes in his act, and its laugh-out-loud stuff, to say the least. He’s certainly on top of his game throughout the show, too, musing about a wide variety of topics, like having AIDS vs. raising kids, a pretty amazing recount of a sexual experience, and a shockingly deep discussion on modern society’s views on the N-word. He does discuss race quite a bit, but it never feels clichéd or even remotely like filler material, and is simultaneously hilarious and enlightening. His comparison of non-sugary cereals to a certain type of sex is another highlight of the hour, and I found myself agreeing with him about every minute point he was making about the subject, especially the cereal-centric portion.
Another big chunk of Glover’s material centers on his experiences growing up in a household where his parents cared for a multitude of foster children. He muses about how he learned everything he knows about the world through these experiences, which culminated in a particularly “crappy” trip to Home Depot. Glover’s unique childhood could wind up being his secret weapon, but after watching Weirdo, I’d be surprised if he doesn’t come up with something fresh and new every time he takes the stage, regardless of the forum.
Entertainment One’s DVD presents the feature in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, and while the things are limited to Donald Glover standing on a stage, the image detail is very strong throughout. The color scheme and black levels also remain consistent, and there really aren’t any glaring problems. The audio is offered in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0, and my first-hand experience with the former resulted in a wonderful recreation of the live stand-up experience. Glover’s speech is always crystal clear and blends well with the rest of the mix, which includes crowd applause and laughter, which is mostly broadcast through the rear speakers. Things are rounded out by a pair of extras that include a lengthy, candid interview with Glover, and a much shorter piece that shows him walking the streets of NYC and musing on how much he loves going to The Big Apple.
Chuck Aliaga April 29, 2012, 9:38 am