David Spade: Take the Hit is an abysmal comedy special, even in the bare-basic sense of the genre. Everything from the delivery Spade engages in, the general flow of the special, the topics presented, and the direction taken feels like everything that was done to stunt the performance and overall energy of the special was pursued. For starters, Spade has always been a guy to assist a leading performer, bringing his character's own sense of smarmy, insincere personality into the picture but always finding the common-ground of also being funny and likable all the more. When Spade leads the show, be it on stage or in film, he struggles to perform adequately because his schtick is usually composed of zingers or sarcastic responses.
His performance at hand is only worsened by the fact that Spade doesn't seem to want to do anything serious in this special whatsoever. He refuses to dive into his personal views on social issues, political issues, or develop himself as a person rather than a personality whatsoever. While that's no requirement in the field of standup, if you're going to predicate yourself off of stupid humor, oddball delivery, and over-the-top impressions, you better be good at doing so and be able to sustain an hour-long special (see Tom Green's performance in Tom Green Live for a strong example of this). Spade hits the ground stumbling with Take the Hit and continues to fumble through and through, with an awkward sense of delivery and conversational flow, whispering and shouting at the strangest, most indistinct times that throw off the energy of his special very quickly.
Then there's the fact that most of what Spade is talking about doesn't feel like Spade expressing true opinions, but feels like he's playing one of his many characters, never channeling a side more personal or intimate. He speaks of how he was a bad first-date in high school, the awkward bawdiness of his father, and his relationship with his mother in a sense that feels insincere and preconceived for sitcom rather than trying to reveal anything about himself.
Spade labors on for fifty-four minutes, which isn't long by comedy special standards, but feels incredibly overlong given the weakness of the performer at hand. Spade has starred in several good films, and has a charm as an actor playing characters that act as their friend's critic, but he has made one of the worst comedy specials I have yet to see; his title for the special might as well be a message to his audience at hand.
Directed by: Keith Truesdell.
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