Posted in: Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on May 4th, 2009
With the gigantic success that the Blue Collar Comedy Tour has accumulated, it was only a matter of time before each one of the comedians received their own HBO or Comedy Central special. Jeff Foxworthy is associated with the “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” game-show. Larry the Cable guy is showcasing his acting range with box office phenomena (i.e. Witless Protection and Delta Farce). Bill Engvall has struggled to find his niche and seems to be on every sitcom pilot that has come out in the last two years. And then there’s Ron White, if you’re anything like myself, this is your next question, who?
Ron White is a stand up comedian that gained notoriety with his red neck self-deprecating genre of comedy. White did not want to be associated with Blue Collar TV because he was not interested in being typecast as a blue collar comedian. Unfortunately, his routine begs to differ. His set is riddled with low brow humor and a genre of observational comedy. There are still a few laughs and his recounting of his recent drug arrest is well told. However, multiple times throughout the set, his rants feel forced and the result is tiresome. There are similarities between this set and Lewis Black’s newer material. At least Black’s comedic performances take firm political and social stances. Any political or social stances that White takes are buried beneath piles of profanity, ethnic slurs and sexual humor. The high points of this set are when he struggles with his material. White stammers on his own words and laughs it off. The audience gets to see the natural, unforced side of his humor and these are true comedic moments. If low brow, uncouth and foul mouthed comedy is your interest, this DVD is for you.
The DVD is in its original 2:35:1 aspect ratio. Since the entire performance was originally in HD the quality of picture is very nice. The blue background is very lush and the contrast is good. Blacks are deep and the colors that exist are vivid. The transfer is clean and the final product looks great. However, the shot selection does distract from the experience. Wild Dutch angled shots leave viewers shaking their heads and quick editing can also leave viewers wondering why? Other than the editing, the visuals are great.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 surround is very well produced. The final product provides an immersive experience with rich audience laughter. Also, viewers can clearly hear everything that Ron White is saying. Occasionally with stand up comedy DVD’s clarity of speech can be an issue. This is non-issue with this effort and the production quality of the sound is very high and impressive.
The features on the disc are extra performance footage that was deemed “too adult” for network TV. The extra stand up is at par with the other material and is just as inappropriate.
Rickety Piece of SH*# Bridge (2:51): Ron recounts a story of getting pulled over on a bridge. Overall, it is a forgettable performance.
A Fourteen Footer! (5:10): Ron goes over a story about a bear attack. This is definitely the best portion of the additional material. The punch-line is strong and a great showcase of his storytelling ability.
Brokeback Mountain XXX (2:08): The title of this additional footage is self explanatory. Ron goes over how he felt about the first romantic encounter between Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain. This is definitely the “too adult” portion of the additional footage. Very off color stuff.
I already had this erection (3:06): This additional footage is not part of the “Behavioral Problems” performance. Comedy Central decided to stage a relaxed bar setting with 25 extras crowded around Ron White while he tells two stories. The result is a lame and awkward experience. It is an unfortunate addition to the features.
Ron White: Behavioral Problems has some laughs. The material is mediocre and the comedy that is presented lacks a memorable quality. However, the production quality of the DVD is miles ahead of the stand up material. The surround and visuals make for an entertaining experience. Ron White is a great storyteller and has good stage presence. Unfortunately, The DVD has little to no replay value and ultimately winds up forgettable.