Christopher Titus lands in stores just in time for Valentine’s Day with his most recent concert tour Love Is Evol. “Tonight could fix your relationship, or end it,” he says at the opening of the performance. “Either way, you’re welcome.”After discussing the recent developments of his life with tongue planted firmly in cheek, he backs this opening promise up with nearly an hour and a half of comedy that is equal parts storytelling, punchline, and attitude.
For those unfamiliar with Titus, his greatest splashes thus far have been a short-lived sitcom on FOX and several bit parts in TV and film. He’s been on the radar a long time, but has never really made the splash he’s poised to in any area but stand-up comedy. After hearing his latest material, it would be great to see that splash come, the sooner the better.
Of course, comedy is relative, but as the approximate 90-minute runtime deals with issues of infidelity, divorce, suicide, abuse, and even murder – all snatched from the headlines of his own life – viewers may reluctantly find more in common with this comedian than most. Titus has been down some rocky roads, and a few moments in his performance are very poignant, but don’t worry about the laughter. It comes. He has a way of taking the most frightening subject matter and making it funny, which is one of the greatest tricks to comedy success… mining the laughter out of life events that are not, rather should not, be funny. Whether you end up thanking him for saving or destroying the relationship you’re in, as he boasts, you should at least thank him for teaching you how to deal with hard times while not taking yourself too seriously.
And his “Inner Retard” character? Priceless.
A strong showing of reds and blues highlight a pleasantly straightforward presentation that is free of contaminants and never distracting. Nothing extraordinary goes on visually, but the 1.85:1 widescreen presentation gives Comedy Central’s release something to boast about.
One of the more powerful volumes you’ll hear comes with this disc. Turned halfway up, it blows much of its competition out of the water. Like the video presentation, however, there isn’t much else going on. Crowd noises are audible, but kept comfortably in the background where they belong. Music rocks, but is used sparingly. For a performance that depends on the personality and delivery of its only star, this 5.1 track is exactly what you’ll want from your speakers.
Countdown to V-Day – This feature runs approximately 15 minutes. Titus offers humorous advice on how one should act in the days leading up to VD. These short clips can also be found on his website, though not yet in their completed forms. Particularly interesting was his rundown of what each different-colored rose symbolizes.
The Fans Speak: Love on the Rocks – Running around 6 minutes, this feature takes interviews of audience members and asks them about their worst dating experiences. Festive fun and surprisingly interesting, home viewers get a clear idea of the live audience in a manner that is seamlessly supportive to the main feature.
Titus vs. Cupid: Behind the Scenes at the Photo Shoot – Titus clearly has a way with kids, which may be attributed to the fact that in his spare time he works for non-profit organizations that strive to help children escape abusive situations. In this 3-minute feature, we get to see Titus interact with the boy who plays Cupid on the DVD cover art. Titus makes the youngster feel at home, and even coaxes a completely uncharacteristic performance out of him, based on the few short moments we have of the child’s character.
He’s been called the most original comedic voice since Seinfeld. Hard to say if that’s a fair assessment, but what Christopher Titus does offer is a hybrid of performance- and joke-based comedy that blends seamlessly with dramatic underpinnings. He is a talented man with a unique voice, only limited by the discomfort of his subject matter. But that same discomfort is the heart and soul of his art. Advice to Titus: don’t change a thing. A solid A/V presentation and a few serviceable extras make Love Is Evol a Valentine’s Day must.