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Featured TV on DVD Review: Surviving the Holidays with Lewis Black

November 4th, 2010

Surviving the Holidays with Lewis Black - Buy from Amazon

I've reviewed a number of DVDs with Lewis Black, the most recent being review for Stark Raving Black, which I thought was fantastic. However, I also reviewed Root of All Evil, which was decidedly second tier work. Going into this show, I wasn't sure as to which end of the spectrum it would fall, but as always, I remained cautiously optimistic.

The Show

Surviving the Holidays was a two-hour special that aired last year on The History Channel, and it is as its name suggests, about the holidays. There are some minor parts about the history of some of the holidays, or some small parts with experts on dealing with holiday stress. However, mostly it is just a lot of comics talking about what the holidays are like now and what they were like as kids.

That's it.

On the one hand, it's really easy to describe. On the other hand, it's really hard to review without just spoiling the jokes.

Topics discussed range from holiday traditions that occur starting on Thanksgiving and don't end till New Year's Day with everything in-between. And I mean everything. (Chrismukkah?) They talk about eating, watching football, drinking, shopping, traveling, etc. And who is "they"? About three-dozen stand-up comics. David Alan Grier, Ron White, Joy Behar, Sarah Vowell, Craig Ferguson, Richard Belzer, and many, many, more.

Not every joke works and a few times they seem too rehearsed, while you can tell it is a TV special with a few jokes used as teasers before the commercial break and then repeated in context. But for the most part it is very funny.

The Extras

There's a couple extras minutes of footage that wasn't in the original program. It's funny, but it is so short it hardly qualifies as an extra.

The Verdict

Fans of Lewis Black might see this special as a little tame compared to his usual set, but Surviving the Holidays still has a lot of entertainment for your dollar. The near total lack of extras on the DVD

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