It’s a shame that there aren’t many stand-up comedians around anymore. And the ones that are still around (Chris Rock, Dane Cook) usually only use the medium as a launching pad into a flawed movie or television career that never equals the laugh factor and energy that exists in their stand-up comedy shows.
So along comes Damon Wayans’ Last Stand.
Wayans, in my opinion, was always a talented comedian. His characters on In Living Color made the show a pop-culture hit that rivaled S…turday Night Live. His film career includes Blankman, a stripped down version of his Handyman skit on ILC, and Mo’ Money, an economical buddy-comedy that featured the beautiful Stacy Dash of Clueless fame. After some moderate success on My Wife and Kids, a generic ABC sitcom, Wayans eventually faded from the public eye. While his siblings may have had more success with the Scary Movie franchise, I always thought Damon did well for himself.
So why does his Last Stand performance ultimately fall flat? Let’s take a look.
Performed in New York City during the height of his stardom on In Living Color, Wayans touches on various topics of the time: Mike Tyson and Old School hip hop, to name a few. And in this regard, Last Stand plays like a time capsule. It’s funny to hear Wayans talk about being bitten playfully by Mike Tyson because you know what happens years later when he infamously chewed off half of Evander Holyfield’s ear.
But as a stand-alone comedy act, Wayans ultimately falls short when compared to the greats of the industry. Last Stand will never be compared to Eddie Murphy’s Delirious, Raw, or any of Chris Rock’s hilarious HBO specials.
Wayans hovers too long on certain subjects, like televangelists and marriage — especially when considering that Last Stand is only 50 minutes long. Had Wayans moved more quickly through various subjects, Last Stand could have been more efficient.
Overall, Damon Wayans’ Last Stand might be good for a viewing on a slow night when nothing is on TV and Raw and Delirious are checked out at the local Blockbuster. But beware, Last Stand is limited in it’s genuine laughs.
Last Stand is filmed in 1.33:1 standard full screen. The image is slightly grainy, but then again, this is a 17-year old stand-up comedy show that aired on cable. It’s not going to translate well to high-definition flat screen TV’s.
The picture lends itself well to the material, but you’ll never use this disc to show off
your TV’s image any time soon.
The disc is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0. Wayans’ material is always free of distortion, and occasionally, a nice crowd reaction even reverberates through the surround speakers. Again, nothing special, but it does the job.
Big Black Comedy Trailer – A commercial for the Big Black Comedy Tour DVD.
Gas Trailer – A low-budget movie about brothers who inherit a gas station. Yawn.
Damon Wayans Last Stand is like a C-grade stand-up comedy show. He occasionally says or does something funny, but overall, it’s a quite disappointing 50 minutes of stand-up. It’s nothing you couldn’t hear at the local Laugh Factory. The image and sound are nothing to write home about, but they respectively do their jobs. The Special Features are limited and not related to the main feature. All in all, this is a pretty limited disc, but if you stumble across it, for free — like I did, it’s worth a look.
Special Features List
- Big Black Comedy Trailer
- Gas Trailer