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Featured DVD Review: David Cross: Bigger and Blackerer

May 23rd, 2010

David Cross: Bigger and Blackerer - Buy from Amazon

In 2009, David Cross's first book, I Drink For A Reason, was published and the plan was for him to do a comedy tour to promote the book. That didn't work out. However, he collected the material he had planned for the tour and put on a couple of concerts in Boston, which are coming out on DVD and CD this week.

Bigger and Blackerer is his first concert release in six years, but while he might be getting a little more mellow in his middle age (a topic he deals with in his act), he is as sharp as ever. David Cross is a very smart individual, but he's not afraid to take the low road to make a joke on even the most serious of subjects. Like bringing up Anne Frank and date rape. ... I know what you are thinking, and his joke is worse than that. And he hits upon a lot of subjects from environmentalism, religion, politics, how nothing in politics shocks him anymore, religion, drug rehab, religion, and many more topics.

On a side note: that's probably my only complaint. The set seems a little scattershot at times. This could be because the special was shot over two nights and edited together, or it could be because the material was gathered from several different sources and was never meant to be one hour-long set. I can't be sure that's the reason, but regardless, it's a minor complaint.

The set itself is just under an hour long, which is a good length for a stand-up concert set, but there are also several extras as well, mostly bits edited out of the main program. There are four of these bits with a total running time of 21 minutes. These are good bits, even the one where he defends Dane Cook. There's another bit that has weaker sound and video quality... not so weak that you can't hear what he's saying, just not up to broadcast quality standards. Finally, there is seven minutes of material filmed from a set done in Seattle, Washington back in 2004. Again, this is not broadcast quality; in fact, he walks out of frame a couple of times.

The DVD also comes with a fold-out poster of the cover art.

Apparently the CD has a lot of different material compared to the DVD, but I don't have the CD to compare. It's strange, I've received copies of stand-up concert releases in both the CD and the DVD and the usual comment is, "The CD is exactly like the DVD, only without the visuals." Most of the time there is no difference. Here there is a difference, and they didn't send me the CD, so I can't tell you how much of a difference there is. I can say going by the track listing on the CD and the Chapter listing on the DVD, about a quarter of the CD is different than the DVD.

The Verdict

David Cross is back with Bigger and Blackerer and while he might not be as focused as he as been in the past, or as angry, he is just as funny. The DVD offers just a hair shy of 90 minutes of material, combining the main set and the extras, which is more than enough to rate the DVD a solid purchase.

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