The Bottom Line
- Another strong effort from Greg Giraldo, one of today's best comedians.
- Better in its uncut form than in its original Comedy Central broadcast.
- Might not be appreciated by the easily offended.
- Release Date:
- Running Time: 67 minutes
- 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (DVD)
- Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
- Comedy Central Presents: Greg Giraldo
- Never-before-seen Adult Content Pilot
Guide Review - Greg Giraldo: Midlife Vices - Album/DVD Review
When I originally reviewed comedian Greg Giraldo's first stand-up special Midlife Vices when it originally debuted on Comedy Central, I liked but didn't love it. I made mention of not being sure whether or not my reaction was based on interference from the network -- that it was possible that Comedy Central had asked for changes or cut out some of the best material (the special and album run nearly 70 minutes; the Comedy Central broadcast was about 41). Now, having heard Midlife Vices in its uncut form, I suspect the Comedy Central version was a murdered special. Listening to the whole album, I went from liking to loving Midlife Vices. It's now one of my favorite stand-up albums of the year.
Maybe I was just in a mood when I first saw it, or maybe it really was altered for Comedy Central. Either way, my original assessment of Midlife Vices was off; this is a great comedy record. From dog owners to immigrant workers to the President to a sleeping audience member, no one is safe George Carlin. The "sleeping audience member" bit is one of the album's highlights, in that it showcases Giraldo's ability to create a bit on the spot that's just as funny as any of his written material. We get to hear a true professional at work, and it's the best impromptu dressing-down of a disrespectful audience member since Patton Oswalt took on a heckler on Werewolves and Lollipops.
Midlife Vices is available both on CD and on DVD, the latter of which features two interesting bonus features that may give it the edge over the album. The first inclusion is Giraldo's original Comedy Central Presents stand-up special from 2000. While still funny and very much featuring Giraldo's voice, it's interesting to see just how far he's come as a comic over the last decade. The second extra is one of Giraldo's many failed pilots for Comedy Central, a half-hour series called Adult Content. The comedian acts as host of a series focusing on unusual sex activities. It's not great, but still worth a look; imagine the alternate path Giraldo's career may have taken if the series had taken off.