When Standup Stood Out
Steven Wright (Actor), Denis Leary (Actor), Fran Solomita (Director) Rated: R (Restricted) Format: DVD
It’s no coincidence that some of the most cutting edge comics of this generation came out of the same city, at the same time. The Boston gold rush of the late 70s and early 80s was considered by many as the flashpoint of the biggest national stand-up explosion ever. A scene boiling over with comedians possessed with that precarious blend of originality, pure desire, and good old fashioned desperation. Through a series of candid interviews, old news reports and never before seen bootleg footage, we’ll get an unfiltered and hilarious view of the people who came up here and what they did to survive, emerge and where they are today.
“…chronicling the epic rise and fall of the country’s celebrated comedy hot spot loaded with authentic talent. — Boston Herald
“An irreverent documentary that is a nation of objective history and personal journey, — Improper Bostonian
“Hugely entertaining…this film captures a truly edgy, special time during Boston’s golden years of comedy — The Boston Globe
Actors: Steven Wright, Denis Leary, Janeane Garofalo, Colin Quinn, Bobcat Goldthwait
Directors: Fran Solomita
Producers: Douglas Miller, Chad Sahley
Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
Region: All Regions
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: R (Restricted)
DVD Release Date: July 27, 2006
Run Time: 87 minutes
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
A documentary that really stands out
By Z. Freeman VINE VOICE on March 10, 2007
What some of the angry reviewers of this film don’t seem to understand is that although there are quite a few clips of stand up bits, this is a documentary ABOUT stand up, not a collection of acts. And it’s a brilliantly made documentary as well. When I started watching, I didn’t know that it was going to be so specifically about the Boston stand up scene. I didn’t even know that so many great comedians came out of Boston.
What this documentary is really about is a brief period in the late 70s – early 80s when stand up was suddenly all the rage in Boston. Suddenly comedy clubs were popping up all over town, and stand up was something that you could really make a good living at. It was fresh, original, and every act was different. Old clips from inside the clubs really showcase some funny stuff here too.
What makes this documentary so enjoyable is the obvious respect and affection that filmmaker (and Boston comedian) Fran Solomita has for every artist he interviews. He still doesn’t allow his film to turn into a love fest of idolizing Boston comedians. All aspects of the movement are documented here. The initial rise, Steven Wright’s first appearance on the Late Show that really set Boston ablaze, and then the downfall that occurred because of the surplus of comedians and tv channels displaying comedians… and the drugs. Can’t forget the drugs.
When Stand Up Stood Out is just a really well made film about a very specific group of people in a specific area, but it alludes to the fact that stand up was exploding everywhere at this time, Boston was just the heart of it.
There are great interviews and clips from comedians you may have never heard of and many that you have. All have their own insights into the process and the business and it’s all interesting. This film is definitely never boring.
The DVD contains tons of extras. There’s an interview with Dane Cook talking about how he was affected by all the great Boston comedians before him. There’s a good deal of clips from Bobcat Goldthwaite, Larry Clarke, and some “man on the street” clips from Kevin Meaney. There’s also a making of featurette that really offers a lot of behind the scene information. Overall, this is a great DVD and worth every cent.