The old comedian takes the stage to perform in front of an even older audience – a group of senior citizens. Most of them know him from a hit TV comedy years ago. They're excited to see him, but the expressions on many of their faces turn to shock or disgust when he starts using expletives and doing jokes about sex and body functions. He soldiers on with the nasty stuff, perhaps emboldened by their
Ah, poop jokes. How can anybody resist them? We all poop. It's so relatable. Hooray for poop. And hooray for the comics that champion it.
You want to see a film about the joys and challenges of being a comedian? Watch Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk with Me and/or Don't Think Twice. The first film deals with life as a stand-up, while the second looks at the drama within an improv comedy troupe. Both films are very funny. Both films feel authentic.
De Niro plays Jackie Burke, a sixty-something insult comic who became a household name as the star of a sitcom called, Eddie's Home. Years later, he is still frequently recognized by fans that address him as Eddie and ask
("Ar-LEEEENE!") for them.
While performing at a TV Nostalgia Night show, Jackie gets interrupted by a pair of hecklers. When he discovers they're filming him for some internet show, he becomes furious and attacks the guy. After a month in the hoosegow, he is released
Jackie and Harmony become friends, and we wonder if the filmmakers are going to ignore the age gap between the two and try to steer this rudderless flick into Rom-Com Bay.
What's particularly annoying is watching him perform at the Comedy Cellar, the famed club seen in almost every episode of Louis C.K.'s Louie. The comic uses language and topics similar to those employed by Jackie, but he does something with them. He explores, incites, entices, alarms and challenges his audience; while Jackie settles for communal giggles and "Makin'
Leslie Mann is good. De Niro is in standard latter-day form, except when his character is on stage, where he is
There are solid moments in The Comedian, but nowhere near enough to justify sitting through it. Go check out Mike Birbiglia's films. They are deserving and this is not.