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Arts and Entertainment

TV Junkie: Thursday - Mini DVD Review of Offerings from Comedy Central

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With Lost sent off to Hiatusland for the next month, Thursday's have suddenly deflated to an extraordinarily flaccid state - makes me hunger for the return of Thursday regulars like "My Name Is Earl" (check out NBC's CEO Jeff Zucker season rehash promo). After scouring the listings I can only come up with Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train(1989) on IFC at 8:15pm and then Don Rickles on Jimmy Kimmel for late night watching. In news today Google's YouTube announced that they will provide a tool that will allow anyone with a video on the service to get detailed metrics about who has been watching it - Nielsen for you and me.

The lack of new content tonight leads me to do a little review of a couple of DVDs that have recently been released by Comedy Central: the Comedy Central Roast of Flavor Flav and South Park: Imaginationland.

The Comedy Central Roasts are in tribute of or in the mold of the classic Friars Club roasts of yore, featuring Brat Packers and primarily the bad boys of olde Hollywood. I'm not sure how well Comedy Central follows the template this time other than having a panel and plenty of booze. The it was only a few years ago that Comedy Central was still using the Friars Club name for roasts of Chevy Chase and Hugh Hefner so I wonder what happened. A big difference in the Flavor Flav roast is that this is a comedy affair with virtually no "movie star" representation and in terms of musicians on the panel, we were limited to Ice-T and Snoop Dogg. I think that the uncensored edition is probably the only way to have watched this program - it's a mystery to me that they managed to cobble something together to air even on cable what with the endless flow of expletives.

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I love Flavor Flav and saw him perform in Public Enemy many times but the character he portrays (and perhaps his real persona?) is very two-dimensional, roasting him is like roasting Mr. Hanky, the Christmas Poo. Very little of the venom from the panelists was directed at Flavor - what they did do was unleash it upon each other in copious amounts and no one was safe. Notable panelists were Patton Oswalt, Jimmy Kimmel (who took a ton of abuse), Carrot Top (who took about as much as Kimmel), and Lisa Lampanelli who was incredible. Brigitte Nielsen managed to hold her own and get a dig at the Flavor of Love "whores" who were also in attendance. The extras and add ons (red carpet interviews primarily) were not worth watching at all and Flavor's closing speech is something you should FFWd through (his entrance was great though). In short, the DVD is for fans of comedy, particularly Patton Oswalt and Lisa Lampanelli with not a lot more to offer others.

Similarly, South Park: Imaginationland is definitely for South Park fans but is very well put together on this DVD. For those who aren't familiar with the story, the boys are taken off in a balloon to Imaginationland where terrorists attack all the sweet icons of our imagination, from Santa to Jesus (snark). The US government has to fight back using a Stargate-type device but it's sweet little Butters who is our secret weapon. The storyboards are great for South Park fans as well as the commentary by Matt and Trey. A lot of fun, but don't leave the DVD out if you have kids because they will ask you why a man with a suicide vest is standing next to King Lollypop.