OUT TODAY: Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights (Hollywood to the Heartland)

Last Updated: February 8, 2008By Tags:

(by Ali Naderzad for SCREEN COMMENT) (**) Vince Vaughn‘s Wild West Comedy Show is a new documentary about four stand-up comedians, some with many years experience on stage and some with none at all, who take off on a tour bus to bring the comedy stage to the regional circuit; thirty cities in thirty days. Vaughn emceed the shows and cheered the comics on; he could be a marvelous host for anything, apparently. Tall, handsome and a no-pretense showman, he instantly rallies the crowds, and comics, to his cause. This is helpful particularly if your lineup of comedians isn’t stellar. Chris Rock isn’t anywhere near this Wild West tour bus, he’s riding his own bus in some other part of the country. And yet, comedians like Sebastian Maniscalco and Brett Ernst, who Vaughn hand-picked for the tour, perform like professionals and thrill the crowds. Maniscalco, who in the week preceding the tour was waiting tables at a posh L.A. eatery, got a standing ovation in Nashville at the famed Ryman auditorium, later describing the experience as the best of his life thus far. There is a pervasive sentimentality in Comedy Show, a rather inescapable prospect wherever four men are in close quarters for extensive periods of time. Huh, you say? You mean, four girls? No, I mean four guys. It’s my guess that after spending a month together on a tour bus, four women strangers would turn on each other. These gentlemen went on a journey–dare I say one of self-discovery?–and we are invited to ride along. How nice. At the beginning of Wild West Comedy Show Vaughn explains that he wanted to bring the comedy stage to towns which might not otherwise see this kind of entertainment much. It’s a good cause, especially when the tour bus weaves through parts of the South in the wake of Katrina (proceeds from some of the performances were donated to Katrina victims funds). One afternoon, the posse drove to a make-shift trailer-park; they handed tickets to that night’s performance and chatted with the families. Though sometimes Wild West veers toward the feel-good and the sentimental, it’s a fun ride of a film. Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights (Hollywood to the Heartland) is released today. © 2007 Ali Naderzad

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