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Rescue Me – The Sixth Season and the Final Season (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

September 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

“Rescue Me” has been one of the most edgiest drama series on television and it all comes to an end with the final seventh season.  “Rescue Me – The Sixth Season and the Final Season” includes both the final two seasons in one set and if you love the series or are curious of how it ends, definitely check out this final season box set.  Recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2010 Sony Pictures Television Inc. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Rescue Me – The Sixth Season and the Final Season

TELEVISION AIR DATE: 2010-2011

DURATION: 19 episodes (825 minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, French and Spanish Subtitles, Widescreen (1:78:1), Closed Captions

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: Not Related

RELEASE DATE: September 20, 2011

Created by Denis Leary and Peter Tolan

Directed by John fortenberry, Peter Tolan, Ken Girotti

Written by Denis Leary, Peter Tolan, Evan T. Reilly, Zach Robbins

Produced by Kerry Orent

Co-Producer: Dauri Chase, Leslie Tolan, Alyson Evans

Executive Producer: Jim Serpico, Denis Leary, Kerry Orent, Peter Tolan, Tom Sellitti

Consulting Producer: Mike Martineau

Music by Adam Roth, Brad Hatfield

Cinematography by Tom Houghton

Edited by John Axness, Thomas M. Bolger, Finnian Murray

Casting by Julie Tucker, Ross Meyerson

Production Design by Andrew Bernard

Art Direction by Clay Brown

Set Decoration by Jacqueline Jacobson Scarfo

Costume Design by Caroline Duncan

Starring:

Denis Leary as Tommy Gavin

Michael Lombardi as Mike Siletti

Steven Pasquale as Sean Garrity

John Scurti as Kenny Shea

Daniel Sunjata as Franco Rivera

Callie Thorne as Sheila Keefe

Andrea Roth as Janet Gavin

James McCaffrey as Jimmy Keefe

Robert John Burke as Father Mickey Gavin

Lenny Clarke as Uncle Teddy

Adam Ferrara as Cheif “Needles” Nelson

Larenz Tate as Bart

Michael Zegen as Damien

Olivia Crocicchia as Katy Gavin

Dean Winters as Johnny Gavin

Jerry Adler as Chief Sidney Feinberg

Charles Durning as Tommy’s Dad

Niels Jorgensen as Niels

The acclaimed, groundbreaking series from creators Denis Leary and Peter Tolan comes to an unforgettable end in this remarkable set combining both the tumultuous Sixth Season and emotional Final Season. As troubled NYPD firefighter Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary) confronts his need for rescue and redemption, the crew of 62 Truck wages their own climactic struggle to survive and persevere — both on the front lines and in their personal lives. Embraced by critics and viewers alike for searing, true-to-life performances and unflinching storytelling, “Rescue Me” closes out its astonishing run with the most compelling seasons of the series.

Since 2004, “Rescue Me” has entertained millions of people and now the FX Network series comes to a close with its final seventh season.

“Rescue Me” is a drama series which was created by comedian Denis Leary and writer Peter Tolan (“Analyze This”, “Analyze That”, “Bedazzled”).  The series is about the life of New York City firefighters, members of Ladder 62/Engine 99 Firehouse.  The main character is Tommy Gavin (played by DenisLeary), a veteran firefighter who is far from perfect.  He has personal problems, he’s an alcoholic, he has a bad temper, he’s manipulative, a hypocrit and has dealt with issues stemming from 9/11.  And for Tommy, losing his cousin and best friend Jimmy Keefe on 9/11 has been difficult but in his visions, Jimmy has shown up from time to time.

The series focuses on his personal life and his life as a firefighter.

With “Rescue Me – The Sixth Season and the Final Season”, this final DVD box set features season six and the final seventh season in one set.

The main characters of “Rescue Me” are:

62 Truck Firefighrers

  • Tommy Gavin (played by Denis Leary, “Ice Age” films, “Two if By Sea”) – The main character of the series who is an alcoholic that is suffering from post-traumatic stress-disorder since 9/11 and a guy who tends to get himself in quite a bit of trouble.
  • Lou/Kenny Shea (played by John Scurti, “War of the Worlds”, “Mona Lisa Smile”) – The Lt. of 62 Truck and often Tommy’s good friend and confidant or rival, whenever Lou tries to help him.  Has a bad heart.
  • Franco Rivera (played by Daniel Sunjata, “The Devil Wars Prada”, “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past”) – Tommy’s protege and ladies man of 62 Truck.  Tommy’s wife Janet tends to call him to come over  when Tommy is not home which frustrates Tommy.
  • Sean Garrity (played by Steven Pasquale, “AVPR: Aliens vs. Predator – Requiem ) A young firefigher who dates, marries and divorces Tommy’s sister Maggie.  He has kidney cancer (from 9/11) and in season 7, has a romantic relationship with a woman who has severe farting problems after sex.  After events that happened in season 7, he must decide if he wants to stay with 62 Truck.
  • Mike Silleti (played by Mike Lombardi) – A rookie firefighter who is bisexual.  Contemplates leaving 62 Truck this final season in order to pursue a different career.
  • Bart “Black Shawn” Johnston (played by Larenz Tate, “Cayman Went”) – Recruited for his basketball talent who is dating Tommy’s daughter Colleen.
  • Damian Keefe (played by Michael Zegen) – The son of Jimmy and Sheila Keefe and is Tommy’s godson/nephew.  Has a relationship with firefighter Penny.  His mother Sheila wants him to quit being a firefighter.

Non-Firefighters:

  • Janet Gavin (played by Andrea Roth, “War”, “The Collector”) – Tommy’s estranged wife who is not doing so well in the relationship due to Tommy and her daughter Colleen’s alcoholism.  Both she and Tommy have a high-tension marriage which has led to marriage, divorce and constant problems.  Especially after the death of their son Connor (season two).
  • Sheila Keefe (played by Callie Thorne, “Next Stop Wonderland”, “Homicide: Life on the Street”, “Necessary Roughness”) – The sexy, foulmouthed widow of Jimmy Keefe.  She is the mother of Damien Keefe.
  • Colleen Gavin-Johnston (played by Natalie Distler) – Tommy and Janet’s rebellious teenager who is an alcoholic.  She is currently dating “Black Shawn”.
  • Katy Gavin (played by Olivia Crocicchia) – Younger daughter of Tommy and Janet.  Was in withdrawal after the death of her brother Connor bu tnow she has a dark outlook on life.
  • Teddy Gavin (played by Lenny Clarke) – Brother of Michael Gavin, Tommy’s father.  He is also responsible for shooting Tommy at the end of season five (after blaming him for the death of his wife).

“Rescue Me – The Sixth Season and the Final Season” features 20 episodes on five discs. Included are (spoiler-less summaries):

DISC: 1

  • EPISODE 75 – Legacy - Will Tommy survive after being shot?  Budget cuts start to threaten 62 Truck.
  • EPISODE 76 – Change – Tommy knows he needs to make amends to the people he pissed off.
  • EPISODE 77 – Comeback – Tommy comes back to work and something happens to Lou.  Can Tommy lay off the booze?
  • EPISODE 78 – Breakout - When Tommy and Lou get into a heavy discussion about life, Tommy tries to re-examine his life.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 79 – Blackout – Tommy falls off the wagon, meanwhile Tommy and crew go to look for Colleen.
  • EPISODE 80 – Sanctuary – With all that’s going on with Tommy’s daughter, he worries about his job.  What happens when tries to stop his daughter’s alcoholism?
  • EPISODE 81 – Forgiven – 62 Truck is closed and tension between Tommy and Janet during their date.
  • EPISODE 82 – Cowboy – Needles ends up saving 62 Truck, meanwhile Tommy and Sheila get into some trouble. Damian saves a helpless victim.

DISC 3:

  • EPISODE 83 – Good-Bye – Damian struggles with leaving the 62 Truck but will he?  Tommy tries to get his life back on track.
  • EPISODE 84 – A.D.D. – SEASON SIX FINALE: After Damian’s accident, Tommy and Sheila try to move on.  Meanwhile, Tommy tries to budget his time between family and work.
  • EPISODE 85 – Mutha – SEASON SEVEN BEGINS: Damian’s confined to a chair as a new baby is on its way.  Sheila and Janet try to shake Tommy’s life.
  • EPISODE 86- Menses – The guys wait for a job, Lou fakes a physical, Kelly is back and a news team memorializes Jimmy.

DISC 4:

  • EPISODE 87 – Press – Lou becomes a godfather and Tommy is interviewed by the national press but all things go wrong!
  • EPISODE 88 – Brownies – After Tommy’s interview, now everyone worries what will happen to 62 Truck.
  • EPISODE 89 – Head- Tommy loses his badge but he ends up being saved by…Sheila?
  • EPISODE 90 – 344 – Tommy and friends return to Ground Zero and decides to do something for family and friends just in case he dies in a fire

DISC 5:

  • EPISODE 91 – Jeter – The even before Colleen and Black Shawn’s wedding, Tommy and Lou let it all out and Franco gets promoted and is put to the test.
  • EPISODE 92 – Vows – Colleen and Black Shawn are getting married, meanwhile the guys take on their largest fire yet.
  • EPISODE 93 – Ashes – Series Finale:  The characters deal with tragedy and move on.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Rescue Me – The Sixth Season and the Final Season” is presented in Widescreen (1:78:1) and is enhanced for 16×9 televisions. A show that balances outdoor and indoor shots with good lighting.   I didn’t see any major artifacting issues or low level noise that was distracting.

As for the audio, “Rescue Me – The Sixth Season and the Final Season” is presented in English, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The series is dialogue-driven and is primarily front and center channel driven with a few episodes.  There are some scenes with ambiance and music utilizing the surround channels.

Closed Captions are included.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Rescue Me – The Sixth Season and the Final Season” includes the following special features:

DISC 1:

  • Balls! – (2:22) A featurette with everyone saying “Balls!” and other wording for the male and female nether-region.
  • Deleted Scenes: (4:45) “Plenty of Places to Drink”, “Natural Habitat” and “The Proper Mick Heritage”.

DISC 2:

  • Kicking the Ashes and Mopping Up: An Attempt to Remember Season 6 – (26:06) The cast and crew are interviewed about shooting season six of “Rescue Me”.
  • Deleted Scenes – (5:17) Featuring five deleted scenes: Liquid Stakeout, Cheeks & Thong, Couples Night, Slow Lane, Tidy Whities.

DISC 3:

  • Burning the Actors at Both Ends – (7:04) Outtakes from “Rescue Me”.
  • Deleted Scenes – Featuring one deleted scene – I’m Looking For My Phone.

DISC 4:

  • Denis & Lenny: A Match Made in Hell - (4:36) The comedy relationship of Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke.
  • Deleted Scenes – (10:52) Featuring six deleted scenes: I’m Going to Wear my Cock Sock, Dinner’s on the Table, All Hail the Half King, Can I Give You Some Advice?, Sorry, Old Habits, Shits ‘N Giggles.

DISC 5:

  • The Creators’ Last Call – (21:56) Featuring Denis Leary and creator Peter Tolan talking about the series and saying goodbye to it.
  • Deleted Scenes – (5:09) Five deleted scenes: I’m Not Gonna Read It, Reparations!, You’re My First Blaxican, Up or On the Rocks, Maybe He’s the Lucky One.
  • Previews – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment trailers.

EXTRAS:

“Rescue Me – The Sixth Season and the Final Season” comes with a slip cover case.

For seven seasons, we have seen the turmoil with Tommy Gavigan’s life and many of us wondered, how would “Rescue Me” end.  Would this guy ever get some light or is he going to continue to frack up his life?

While episode six felt as if more crap is being compounded in the life of Tommy, from being shot by Teddy, to wondering if his life with Janet would ever work out, to find out that Franco is always at his place and that she would rather be around Franco than him and of course, seeing how his alcoholism has really screwed up his life and seeing how his teenage daughter is becoming like him.

And to make things worse, something bad happens to a member of 62 Truck in both the season six finale and the series finale of season seven and you wonder if the humor of the show would ever come back again.

If anything, I do believe that one has to hit rock bottom in order to get back into things.  For Tommy, he has hit rock bottom quite a few times I suppose, but it wasn’t until the final episodes of the final seventh season where he begins to learn about loss.  From a letter from Jimmy to his wife, taking care of Damien and then the loss of another good friend.  Everything comes back in full circle as the reason why Denis Leary co-created this series was because his cousin was killed in a fire in 1999.

But Leary’s loss, and the loss that many people have endured since 9/11 is what I tend to look at the positive of the last season.  With Tommy visiting the memorial site but then once again, put in a situation where he and his brothers face an approaching death and are trapped in a major fire.

Suffice to say, the final season of “Rescue Me” ends with a final and appropriate goodbye.  Like in life, everyone moves on and his final speech that Tommy delivers to the new probies, it is a speech that I’m sure rings true with many firefighters today.  In the career that they have chosen, their will be deaths with close ones, Tommy has lost good people in his life, his brothers have lost fellow brothers and the only thing is to prepare the new recruits for what lies ahead of them.

“Rescue Me” has been a series that has been true to itself with no compromises.  From season one through seven, there have been a lot of shocking storylines, twists that just literally came from nowhere.  But to have a drama series last beyond the fifth season and keep things fresh is difficult and for “Rescue Me”, it probably was a good time to end things at season seven with the way it did.

Overall, “Rescue Me” was a great run and for those who have kept up with the series (or have missed the last two seasons), “Rescue Me – The Sixth Season and the Final Season” is worth checking out!

Recommended!

Denis Leary and Friends Present: Douchebags & Donuts (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

January 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Provocative humor that only Denis Leary can deliver his way, his style for a special night benefiting the Leary Firefighters Foundation.  Joined with comedians Whitney Cummings, Lenny Clarke and Adam Ferrara, “Denis Leary and Friends Present: Douchebags & Donuts” is a hilarious Comedy Central film on DVD worth checking out!

Images courtesy of © 2011 Comedy Partners. All Rights Reserved. COMEDY CENTRAL and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Comedy Partners. TM, ® & Copyright © 2011 by Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Denis Leary and Friends Present: Douchebags & Donuts

DURATION: 99 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: Color, Widescreen, Closed Captions, Dolby Digital

COMPANY: Comedy Central/Paramount

RATED: Not Rated (Explicit Content. Warning: This program is recommended for mature audiences only. It contains adult language and situations.)

RELEASE DATE: January 18, 2011

Executive Producer: Denis Leary, Jim Serpico

Produced by Frank Garritano, Bartow Church

Directed by Joe Perota

Starring:

Denis Leary

Lenny Clarke

Whitney Cummings

Adam Ferrara

The Enablers feat. The Rehab Horns

Live from New York’s Town Hall, this comedy film features an amazing night of comedy and music with stand-up from Denis Leary, Lenny Clarke, Whitney Cummings and Adam Ferrara, and musical guests The Enablers featuring The Rehab Horns.

When it comes to comedian Denis Leary and his support for firefighters, the comedian has done his job in helping provide fire departments with equipment, technology and training.

In 2000, Leary started “The Leary Firefighters Foundation”  and raised $10 million and created partnerships to help fire departments throughout the country and filling the gaps between the limits of government funding and helping these departments acquire the tools necessary to maintain the highest level of public safety.

In 2010, Leary along with comedians Lenny Clarke, Whitney Cummings and Adam Ferrara along with musical performances by the Enablers feat. the Rehab Horns joined together for  a hilarious night to raise money for his foundation but also recorded as a Comedy Central special airing on January 16th with a DVD release to follow on January 18th.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Denis Leary and Friends Present: Douchebags & Donuts” is presented in widescreen and Dolby Digital.  For a film, the performance features a pretty cool set design and wonderful lighting.  Camera angles for the performances were well done as it features close ups, full body shots, audience reactions and edits were perfect and not dizzying.    Audio was clear and understandable and good use of surrounds to hear the audience laughing, gasping and having fun throughout the night.  Audio is primarily center and front channel driven but overall, PQ and AQ on DVD are pretty solid.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Denis Leary and Friends Present: Douchebags & Donuts” comes with the following special features:

  • “Fuck You” – (3:18) A musical performance of “Fuck You” by Denis Leary and the Enablers (feat. the Rehab Horns).
  • Traditional Irish Folk Song – (2:38) A musical performance of a traditional Irish Folk Song done the Denis Leary way with the Enablers (feat. the Rehab Horns).
  • Snapshots from the Road – (10:49) Featuring photos and video clips from Denis Leary and friends traveling around the United States.  We see the comedians having fun in the travel bus, in their green room and various clips from their performances throughout the U.S. and backstage footage during and after the special.
  • Detours on the Road to Comedy – (5:10) Featuring several short clips of Denis Leary, Lenny Clarke and friends in various parts of the country on the travel bus or in the green room joking around.

As usual with Denis Leary, you can expect a provocative yet hilarious night but in this special, Leary is not just a comedian, he is also a singer with a few musical numbers featured  throughout the special.

Leary kicks off with his jokes on the Catholic pope and he and the band The Enablers feat. the Rehab Horns sing “Amen” poking fun on Catholic priests who are pedophiles and then begins his routine on America’s douche bags

From his rant on the Catholic church and their pedophile priests, George Reker (the head of anti-gay coalition group, psychologist and a South Baptist Minister) who was embroiled in a gay scandal when he allegedly hired a gay man as a travel companion.

Leary then tears on celebrities showcasing their mugshots.  Featuring troubled football player Lawrence Taylor, actress Heather Locklear, Rush Limbaugh, actor Mel Gibson and his favorite mugshots which are James Brown and Nick Nolte, humorously discussing their arrests and their mug shots.

Then Learn starts discussing the various supplements that people are taking such as Alli, Cymbalta, Requip, Wellbutrin and Viagra and even talking about Brad Pitt having to learn various languages for the different adopted children he has.  Leary as usual is provocative, blunt and can give a crap of what people thinks.  Hilarious then and hilarious now, a wonderful performance once again for Denis Leary.

Following Leary is comedian Whitney Cummings.  Many people caught Whitney on the David Hasselhoff Roast on Comedy Central and she was absolutely fearless as she really went full force on the celebrities that night (to the point where the celebrities were seething in anger at some points during her comedic tirade).  For “Douchebags & Donuts”, Cummings delivered in her performance especially for the female audience as she tears up on men, from comedy on sex toys, how men look, men’s penises and how disgusting men are, needless to say… she’s one comedian that is quickly becoming a big star from Comedy Central and you just never know what’s going to come out of her mouth.  Fearless, hilarious and definitely a pretty solid followup to Leary’s comedy.

Comedian Lenny Clarke, a close friend of Leary who has appeared on “Rescue Me” (as Uncle Teddy) was a surprise as we got to see a slim down version of the man.  The comedian still can deliver in his angry man routine as he talks about his weightloss, doing weight watchers, the difference of parenting now and then and his Mexican adventure in TJ for a “donkey show”.  Clarke is still hilarious and also gave a solid performance for the night!

Leary follows with another musical act with his song “Douchebag”, a song about people that he hates.

The final comedian for the night features Adam Ferrara, who talks about his mother worrying about President Obama because he’s Black, panic attacks and the love of his life.

Overall, “Denis Leary and Friends Present: Douchebags & Donuts” was fun and entertaining comedy film.  The DVD version features additional musical performances, snapshots from the road and detours on the road to comedy with behind-the-scenes with Leary, Clarke and members of the band.

I’ve watched this DVD several times now and found Leary’s performance to be the best.  I’ve watched his comedy before and the man still has it!  And to watch him tear it up on the stage and rant on celebrities and those who he considers as “douchebags” was very hilarious!  And also, Whitney Cummings, Lenny Clarke and Adam Ferrara were fine additions for the night and delivered in their own way and their own style.  So, the audience got four different styles of comedy performances for the night, and for the most part, I enjoyed this comedy film.

If you are wanting a hilarious special with provocative humor, definitely give “Denis Leary and Friends Present: Douchebags & Donuts”a try!


Back From Hell: A Tribute to Sam Kinison (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

November 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

If you grew up watching Sam Kinison and loved his comedy, this is one hell of a documentary featuring today’s top comedians paying respects to Kinison nearly 20-years after his death.  Featuring past comedy clips, his “Wild Thing” music video and live performance and more.  “Back from Hell: A Tribute to Sam Kinison” is definitely for fans of his comedy and an awesome Comedy Central DVD release!

Images courtesy of © 2010 Robert Small Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Back From Hell: A Tribute to Sam Kinison

YEAR OF DOCUMENTARY: 2010

DURATION: 60 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: Widescreen, Dolby Digital

RATED: Parental Guidance: Explicit Content.  Warning: This program is recommended for mature audiences only.  It contains adult language and situations.

COMPANY: Comedy Central/Paramount

Released Dated: November 16, 2010

Directed by Robert Small

Executive Producer: Robert Small, Bill Kinison, Bill Schwartz

Executive Producer for Worldwide Biggies: Albie Hecht

Produced by Carrie Weprin

Co-Producer Pat Buckles

Consulting Producer: Sue Flinker

Editors: Matt Davis, Steven Rosenthal

Assistant Editor: Sharon Perlman

Starring:

Sam Kinison

Denis Leary

Chris Rock

Norm MacDonald

Ice-T

Lenny Clarke

Jay Leno

Kathy Griffin

George Lopez

Richard Belzer

Lewis Black

Paul Profenza

Ron White

Pauly Shore

Carol Leifer

Bill Kinison

Craig Gass

Marc Maron

Rodney Dangerfield

Judy Tenuta

John Lovitz

A star-studded cast of comedians including Chris Rock, Jay Leno, Ron White, Kathy Griffin and Denis Leary gather to pay tribute to the man who turned rage into an art form. Filmed in part at Sam Kinison’s familiar Los Angeles stomping ground The Comedy Store, this documentary weaves performance footage and interviews to offer some fresh perspective on a truly original voice in comedy.

Sam Kinison is one of the most well-known comedians who tackled on subjects and wouldn’t hesitate to tell audiences how he felt about them.  Known for comedy of screaming and delivering controversial humor, Kinison was among one of the few people at the time during the late ’80s who would take subjects that were sensitive to a lot of people and rip on them.

From his jokes on marriage, religion, homosexuals, AIDS… nothing was off-limits, Kinison would take on these subjects without giving no care of what people thought.  A style that made him popular among many comedians and also his love for rock music, he would also earn the respect of the rock stars of the ’80s.

Sam Kinison was one of the most respected comedians who lived life the way he wanted, wild and crazy and there probably will never be a comedian like him ever again.  He was truly an original comedian and with such a long life ahead of him, while things were going great for the comedian, Sam Kinison and his newly married wife Malika Souiri were struck by a 17-year-old drunk driver in April 1992.  While his wife survived, Kinison was killed.

A life cut short 18-years-ago, Comedy Central will be celebrating Kinison’s life in a special titled “Back From Hell: A Tribute to Sam Kinison” in which his comedian friends and celebrity friends share their memories of Sam Kinison and what they loved about him.  The special tribute documentary features comedians and talents such as Denis Leary, Chris Rock, Norm MacDonald, Ice-T, Lenny Clarke, Jay Leno, Kathy Griffin, George Lopez and many more.

VIDEO:

“Back From Hell: A Tribute to Sam Kinison” is presented in widescreen.  Picture quality differs as you get a combination of modern interviews and old clips of classic Sam Kinison live performances from the ’80s.  But for the most part, this is a pretty cool documentary/tribute in which picture quality is for the most part pretty good.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Back From Hell: A Tribute to Sam Kinison” is presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround and 2.0 Stereo.  The DVD is center and front channel driven.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Back From Hell: A Tribute to Sam Kinison” comes with the following special features:

  • Stories from the Comedy Store – (12:33) Featuring a celebration of Sam Kinison’s life by Bill Kinison, Craig Gass, Marc Maron and Pauly Shore doing standup at the Comedy Store.
  • Music – (10:06) Featuring Sam Kinison performing “Wild Thing” Live and the original music video of Kinison’s “Wild Thing”.
  • Additional Stand-Up – (17:06) Featuring Sam Kinison stand-up comedy routines for: Bigger than Me, Donating to Aids Research, Extended Cocaine Bit, Friends When You’re High, Jesus’ Wife, Leper Whore, Sam’s Moving Idea and Swallowing

When I was a teenager, Sam Kinison was a comedian that I absolutely loved watching.  This man was not afraid to tackle subjects that may be too taboo for the masses but he did and the audience gravitated towards his comedy because a lot of what he does say is quite logical while others who dislike his comedy look at him as insensitive and comedy of hatred.

But this was how things were during the ’80s and ’90s.  Unlike today in which a comedian can easily be scrutinized for talking about things that are wrong or not politically correct, back then, comedians didn’t touch those subjects but Kinison did.  And he did it with a style that no one can ever copy with the same amount of flair, this man would literally scream his head out and audiences would be wide-eyed and surprised.  This is Kinison’s comedy and his delivery was well-paced, starting off slow until he launches his tirade on the audience and you can’t help but laugh.

I remember one of my favorite HBO young comedian special in which Kinison took part of and he was talking about the kids that were starving in Africa and Kinison would talk about how the kids starving and are very depressed and seeing the commercials of how cruel.  He starts off sincere But then he slowly begins his tirade of how he wished the film crew could at least give the kid a sandwich.  And then starts screaming how the director would want to make sure these kids look hungry while shooting and telling his crew not to feed them and literally getting the audience laughing.

He then goes into world hunger and says if you want to stop world hunger, stop giving them food.   You hear this awkward silence and he continues that the drivers would continue to drive U-HAULS full of food to those countries for 34 years and then Kinison would unleash and start screaming that it would occur to the drivers that world hunger wouldn’t happen if these people would just pack up and move where the food is.  Kinison would then start screaming “YOU LIVE IN A DESERT!  YOU LIVE IN A FU**IN DESERT!  UNDERSTAND YOU LIVE IN A DESERT! NOTHING GROWS OUT HERE!  NOTHINGS GONNA GROW OUT HERE!” and then he would become sincere again and crouch down and say, “see this here.. it’s sand.  This is sand.  It’s sand.  You know what it’s going to be in 100 years…. IT’S GOING TO BE SAND!  YOU LIVE IN A FU**ING DESERT!  GET YOUR KIDS, GET YOUR SH*T, WE’LL MAKE ONE TRIP AND TAKE YOU TO WHERE THE FOOD IS!  WE HAVE DESERTS IN AMERICA, WE JUST DON’T LIVE IN THEM ***HOLE!”.

It was trademark Kinison style and I can’t think of anyone who can replace him.  And that’s what I love about this tribute to Sam Kinison, seeing all these comedians complimenting, thanking Sam Kinison for what he contributed to comedy.

Comedian Chris Rock would talk about how when he was just starting out and doing comedy acts at 1-2 am, he could hear Sam Kinison laughing and how the comedian took him out for dinner and would tell him how he loved his act.   Kathy Griffin would compliment his comedy and although she wouldn’t vote for him if he ran for office, she loved his comedy. And there are many comedians on this tribute that pay their respect to Sam Kinison and very rarely do you see top acts all taking part in a documentary.

I can also remember in his comedy acts, he would be joined by two beautiful women (scantily clothed) and then he would go on a tirade by calling the ex-girlfriends of guys who had been cheated on and join them in a screaming tirade on the women.  Because Sam Kinison has had marriages in which the woman would cheat on him, his thoughts on marriage would play out in his comedy acts.  It was insane but the crowd loved it and definitely a memorable moment.

The documentary also touches upon how Sam emulated televangelist and how religion would be part of his act.  And he would unleash on religion especially these televangelist which were on the forefront in the ’80s and ’90s due to the Jim Bakker scandal (interesting enough, he dated Jessica Hahn, who had an affair with Bakker and she even appeared scantily clad in his “Wild Thing” music video).

And speaking of the music video, we also get to learn in this tribute of how he got involved in the rock n’ roll world and he was introduced to a world of excess.  At that time of his life, he would drink a lot and was quite hardcore in doing drugs.  And the comedians who knew him talked about his involvement.  Also, we learn some details of those who did drugs with him and also some details of what took place behind-the-scenes of that “Wild Thing” music video which shocked even me because I always thought how awesome it was to see a music video with Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Skid Row, Billy Idol and other rockers together cheering on Sam Kinison singing and getting down with Jessica Hahn.

But the tribute would also go to discuss his sobriety but also when he got clean after he was arrested for substances.  Or so you thought.  This was an interesting part of the tribute because even more myself, I believed he was clean and sober but learning from this tribute and learn that it was part of his sentence where he had to give anti-drugs messages.  Chris Rock even talked about how he would talk about being clean on stage, he would catch Kinison snorting coke and look at Chris Rock and tell him “The important thing is that they think your clean”.

And “Back From Hell: A Tribute to Sam Kinison” also includes a segment of his two ladies Sabrina and Malika (who he eventually married) and how he was a man who literally got a lot of sex, to a man who could care less about being politically correct and wanted to be outrageous and wanted people to be shocked by what he would say but still laugh at his comedy.

For me, that’s what I loved about Sam Kinison’s comedy.  Taking topics that people would dare touch and make humor out of it.  From world hunger, drug use, religion, homosexuality, serial killers going after rappers, he didn’t care and he knew that there would be people protesting his comedy acts but he could care less.  It was a different time from today, where comedians are now held accountable for what they say and are targeted by people on the Internet and the media watchdogs but back then, that was what made his comedy acts so special and so unique and he is definitely a comedian that could never be duplicated.

As for this tribute documentary, I absolutely loved it!  I grew up watching Sam Kinison and there are a lot of things I didn’t know about the man but the documentary definitely gives us an idea of how he was on stage and also off-stage.  Comedy Central also includes some of his performances in the special feature but also the music video and his live performance of “Wild Thing”.

If you grew up during a time when Sam Kinison was around delivering his style of comedy, looking back, you realize how unique this comedian really was.  And as mentioned, rarely do you see many top comedians coming together for a tribute documentary, from late night hosts/comedians Jay Leno and George Lopez, Dennis Leary, Chris Rock, Kathy Griffin and many, many others who have had a chance to work with Sam Kinison or had that opportunity to get to know him and to pay their respect to him nearly 20-years-later after his death.  It goes to show how special of a comedian Sam Kinison truly was.

Definitely recommended!

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