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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

DVD Review: Dave Foley: “Relatively Well”

I’ve long been a fan of Dave Foley’s work. I loved The Kids In The Hall, and also totally enjoyed News Radio. So I’m game for whatever he does. It’s great that he’s doing stand-up again. Because the thing is he’s a really funny guy. And he’s incredibly intelligent, with some important points to make (but don’t worry, even at his most serious, he’s still completely hilarious).

When he comes out on stage, the audience of course applauds. He tells them, “Keep it going,” then points to someone in the audience and says with mock anger, “You’re not keeping it going.”

He talks a bit at the beginning about Kids In The Hall, and about not being gay. Referring to those placards that say “God Hates Fags,” Dave Foley says, “God’s been creating the universe for a long time now, and he hates the gays, but he can’t seem to stop making them. That’s got to be frustrating for God.” About homosexuality he says, “If gay is a choice, then straight must logically also be a choice.” All of that material is great, and is an argument I actually hadn’t heard before. “If you are a straight man and you do feel like you’re choosing to be straight all the time, guess what, you’re gay.”

I love his material on what sex is like when you get older. He opens himself up and gets very personal, which of course is often the source of the best comedy. He talks about going without sex during his first marriage. “It wasn’t entirely her fault because she had been diagnosed as being a cunt. I mean, technically the diagnosis was borderline personality disorder, but trust me, ‘cunt’ covers it.” He adds, “One of the more pathetic things in this relationship, I think, was watching an unopened box of condoms reach its expiration date. Because they’re not bananas – they last a while.”

One of my favorite sections of this performance is when he talks about how calling someone “intellectual elite” is the biggest insult these days. So sad. He says, “It’s that anti-intellectual mindset that I think made it possible for someone like a George Bush to become president. Or someone like a Sarah Palin to, I don’t know, get a fucking driver’s license.” Amen.

But my favorite section is his bit on religion. He says, “Religion to me has always just seemed like a form of socially acceptable psychosis…It’s not about the ideas themselves; it’s about how many people believe the idea that gives it credibility and gives it respectability.” This is some of his best material.

I also love his material on language. I agree that there are no “bad words.” And I love his explanation: “I don’t think it’s possible for there to be bad words. Because words don’t have a central nervous system. They can’t take independent action or make ethical or moral decisions. They’re just noises we make.” His bit about saying “the N word” is excellent.

The DVD is approximately 72 minutes.

Special Feature

The DVD has one special feature, “Behind The Scenes With Dave At The Cover Shoot.” This is a very short (two and a half minutes) segment with an introduction by Dave Foley and footage of the photo being staged and taken.

This performance is also available on CD. The CD is 70 minutes. What is cut is a little of the “Keep it going” bit at the beginning, and of course the end credits music.

Relatively Well was released on September 24, 2013 through New Wave Dynamics. I’m hoping he’ll release a lot more stand-up specials in the near future.

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