17 October 2016 | ianlueck
Too Much Recycled Content
The Comedy Central Presents special featuring Frank Caliendo is one of my favorites, with the comedian speeding through a large number of impressions in only twenty minutes. So when I saw this special on DVD, I was hoping for some more new impressions. Unfortunately, Frank mostly recycled his material from the CCP special. This is disappointing for two reasons: One, the obvious; you feel like you've paid for the same content twice. And two, it arguably doesn't do Caliendo any favors, painting him as someone who is content to pander with familiar punchlines instead of coming up with new stuff. This isn't like Jerry Seinfeld's "I'm Telling You For the Last Time", where the gimmick was that Jerry was retiring his old material so he wanted to give the audience one last taste of it; Caliendo was an up-and-coming comedian at the time so it's disappointing he was already in reruns. And even worse, the special is three times as long as his CC special, so impressions that are funny at first (such as George W. Bush) tend to get old when they're repeated so many times over the course of an hour.
That said, if you've never seen the aforementioned CC special, this is still an entertaining hour. While his John Madden impression is arguably his most famous, I found I was laughing hardest at his Yoda, Shaggy (from Scooby-Doo), and Chris Farley impressions. And I liked the self-deprecation, such as when he apologizes for the constant assault of "Frank TV" ads on TBS.
This special opens and closes with a couple brief skits where the Fox NFL Sunday hosts claim that Frank isn't funny in his dressing room. They're okay. But one particularly puzzling choice is that, at random times during the special, it will cut to the audience, where Frank, dressed as a celebrity he's impersonating (such as Jay Leno), will offer their reactions. Obviously, these bits were taped apart from the stand-up, and it's jarring whenever it happens.
If you've never seen Frank Caliendo, this special is worth watching, but if you've seen his CC special, there's really no reason to bother with this.