A stand-up compendium, The Best of Comedy Central Presents 2 groups together feature specials from eight comedians — most from the past several years, and each running about 20 minutes apiece. The end result is a nice buffet spread/sampler pack, something to allow a nice cross-section without forcing the consumer to go all-in on a single performer’s catalogue.
The roster here, listed alphabetically, includes Dave Attell, Mike Birbiglia, Frank Caliendo, Zach Galifianakis, Stephen Lynch, Patton Oswalt, Nick Swardson and Daniel Tosh. Attell’s set is I believe the oldest, dating from the late 1990s, or early 2000; he’s funny (introducing himself by saying, “I have an Andre Agassi-with-a-drinking-problem kind of look”), but it’s before he really found his stride. He talks some about mock-sexual bonding with his dog, but the funniest bit from him is when he talks about how summer weather is not the right fit for fat guys.
Caliendo, of course, currently in heavy commercial rotation sending up everyone from William Shatner and John Madden to George Bush, trots out plenty of impressions, and Lynch breaks out the guitar for some silly ditties. Swardson, performing in front of a picture of himself at six years of age, jokes about teeth whitening and wanting zoo animals in his one-bedroom apartment. His funniest bit, though — about the outdated pictorial representation of bombs on airport security signs — draws mostly uneasy and indifferent reactions from the live crowd.
The very funny Oswalt’s show isn’t among his best, necessarily. He talks about watching old movies in L.A. and losing both love and hate in his “old” age (he recently turned 30 before this set), and there’s an extended riff about a pot-fueled trip to Amsterdam. The biggest shocker of the disc, though, may be Tosh, with whom I wasn’t too terribly familiar prior to settling down with this DVD. Exuding a zonky energy that turns familiar stage riffs (the difficulties of unhooking a woman’s bra) into screwy high-wire acts, Tosh has a rapid-fire imagination that crams jokes of accompaniment all around his main anecdotal bits. His best bits involve a laboriously set-up joke about collecting change in cargo pants and then paying off a homeless guy in lottery-winner fashion, and befriending seventh graders to boost one’s self-esteem.
The Best of Comedy Central Presents 2 comes presented in 1.33:1 full screen. Trailers for the first season of Kenny Vs. Spenny and South Park‘s eleventh season are amongst the preview gallery that comprise the only bonus supplemental features on the disc. To purchase the DVD via Amazon, click here. B (Concert) D+ (Disc)