Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson has been taking the opening monologue to new heights on his show, with a mix of confessional and observational styles that draw on his own life experiences and his view of pop culture. His new stand-up comedy album, A Wee Bit O’ Revolution, follows the same path, spiced with a bit more cussing, and like the monologues, the stand-up comedy works best when Ferguson gets confessional. He has a wonderful storytelling sense, which, combined with his likable persona, draws the viewer in, whether he’s talking about his love for America (which he does frequently) or his alcoholism.
The show was recorded at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston on July 4, 2008 and was Ferguson’s first stand-up performance since becoming an American citizen. The first half of the show showcases his more autobiographical comedy, with the comedian loosely following a storytelling thread as he moves from visiting America for the first time to growing up in Scotland to dealing with alcoholism to moving to America. Ferguson is a gifted storyteller with no fear of getting silly, and while there are few laugh out loud moments, this part of the performance has a spark and an intimacy which makes one happy to follow him on his tangents, confident that he will be entertaining no matter where he goes. Highlights include a discussion on Sean Connery’s Spanish accent in The Highlander and teenage Craig’s misguided decision to try chloroform at a Blue Oyster Cult concert, but the entire monologue is funny.
The second half of the show shifts a little to be less confessional and more observational, with Craig’s take on pop culture and politics. This part doesn’t work as well. The references to Bush and Tom Cruise seem dated already — they must have sounded a bit dated even in 2008 — and Ferguson makes a point of not getting personal with his own politics. While I understand his position, his comedy works best when he draws on the personal. This part of the show is still entertaining, but lacks both the bite and the warmth of the earlier half.
Despite being a little uneven, A Wee Bit O’ Revolution is an enjoyable eighty minutes with a very likable and witty comedian and worth the money whether you already follow his show or want to check him out for the first time. The DVD has a couple of nice extras, the first being a sixteen minute interview with Ferguson, apparently done at the time he hosted Boston’s Fourth of July Pops concert in 2008. The interview is not an extension of his monologue, being fairly serious, and instead has Ferguson talking about his thoughts on America, comedy, and celebrity. The other extra feature is an eight minute speech Ferguson gave that Fourth of July at Faneuil Hall in Boston, which features Craig’s trademark mix of comedy with touching personal revelations.
The DVD’s release date is March 24, 2009 and it retails for $14.98. The show is on one disc, with 1:78:1 anamorphic widescreen. There is a choice between Dolby Digital Surround 5.1 (English) and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English). There are no subtitles or closed captioning. The video and sound quality is excellent. I recommend a look if you love tuning in to find out why Craig thinks it’s a great day for America.Powered by Sidelines