There are not that many absolute musts when it comes to stand-up comedy DVDs but Cutting Edge Comedians of the 60 and 70s is something any comedy fan must have. This stand-up comedy DVD is 120 minutes of the very best stand-up comics performing at that time in some impossible to get performances. Just the black and white clip of Bill Cosby doing 75$ Car or a suit and tie George Carlin doing a pep talk Newhart style is worth the price of this DVD although other stand-up fans would say Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, the two Richard Pryor clips, or most of the 19 clips on Cutting Edge Comedians of the 60s and 70s.
All of the clips on the Cutting Edge DVD are taken from TV entertainment shows between 1961 (Jackie Mason) and 1979 (David Letterman). Many of them probably from the Mike Douglas Show. Though this stand-up comedy fanatic wishes the clip mentioned what show it was taken from, it is very hard to find anything to quibble about here. Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks open with a 2000 year old man performance that covers polygamy, Robin Hood -who running around with his merry men would now be a dress designer-Freud, the original version of bullfighting, and how to live 2000 years.
Jackie Mason is a love him or hate him comic. His 1961 performance about going to a psychiatrist is pretty good even if the picture strobes. You rarely get to see Bob Newhart and his button down mind performing the Returning A Gift, toupee stand-up routine. Newhart is a comic who really works well in audio only form but seeing his body language in this routine is a lot of fun and adds to the material. The Shelley Berman bit about getting letters of complaint about his last performance and his dentist routine are quite good.
Though a Jonathan Winters fan, the Comedians of the Sixties and Seventies DVD features a clip from the Andy Williams show I have seen on the Winters compilation DVD and Winters' General Hopping Mad Hooterton is not his best character. British comedy duo Hendra & Ullett were a discovery and really smart absurd stuff. Mort Sahl's blackboard bit about right wing and left wing is not that good and is really dated by now.
Not everything on the Cutting Edge DVD is great. The Smothers Brothers and Steve Martin routines clock in at two minutes each and both feel incomplete. The Rowan and Martin clip is interesting if you can get past the first ten seconds of another grainy clip inserted for some bizarre reason. This 1964 clip of a sketch about an actor and a drunk in the audience is something I had not seen before. It is fun but not as smart as their usual stuff.
I would not be surprised if Sarah Silverman watched a great deal of Lily Tomlin before coming up with her character. Though I doubt she saw the Cutting Edge Comedians of the 60s and 70s bit where Edith Anne is interviewed on some entertainment show, it is hard not to see the connection between Silverman and Tomlin.
Comedy giant George Carlin is featured twice and back to back on this DVD. The first rare clip from 1967 is Carlin in a suit doing a very Bob Newhart style bit. This is another bit I had not seen or heard before anywhere. Again, just this bit is worth the price of this stand-up comedy release. The 1975 clip is Carlin's Class Clown God routine
There are also two clips of Richard Pryor. The first is probably from the Mike Douglas Show and is Pryor doing a growing up poor in the projects bit that is reminiscent of what Cosby does. The second from 1974 is a short routine about a junkie and a wino.
Andy Kaufman (Latka on Taxi) does an interview as a Latka style character. You either like or dislike Kaufman's absurd comedy. The guy interviewing him, probably Mike Douglas, is an excellent straight man.
The Billy Crystal clip where he imitates some singer is not that interesting. Jay Leno, again from The Mike Douglas Show, has a decent, short because incomplete, comedy bit on foreign languages. Cutting Edge Comedians of the 60s and 70s closes with David Letterman doing stand-up about people who call radio talk shows and The National Enquirer.
The extra feature on this DVD is comics doing commercials including Bill Cosby the Jell-O Pudding man, Lily Tomlin, Tommy Smothers, and a rare Mel Brooks. The Jonathan Winters litterbug commercial is available on a Winters compilation DVD.
Other Various Stand-Up Comics Reviews
Play The Word - Volume 1: Merril Markoe, Rob Cohen, Julie Rottenberg, Adam Zweibel, Beth Lapides, Winnie Holzman, George Meyer
Play The Word - Volume 2: Jay Kogen, Cindy Chupack, Eric Gilliland, Beth Lapides, Julia Sweeny, Cindy Camponera, Rob Cohen
Before They Were Kings Volume 1: a comedy Dvd featuring some old sets has not aged a bit.
Before They Were Kings Volume 2: an interesting though not a must have stand-up comedy DVD.
The Big Black Comedy Show Volume 1: The Big Black Comedy Show Volume 1 is a very solid comedy DVD
The Big Black Comedy Show Volume 2: Big Black Comedy Volume 1 is far superior to this comedy DVD
Laffapalooza 5: not the best of the bunch but quite decent nonetheless
Laughing Matters: Bad director! Bad director!! Someone take her splicing kit away, now!
Drive By Comedy: a pretty good sample style audio book comedy CD
The Naughty Show Bad Girls Of Comedy: Kim Cea, Stella Stolper, Lisa Ann Walter, Kate Rigg, Shayma Tash, Robin Montague. Ex adult film star director, limp product, no money shot.
World's Greatest Stand-Up Comedy Collection: World's greatest stand-up comedy DVD collection. They are all there.
Redneck Comedy Roundup: skip over the many Engvall tracks and enjoy the other stand-up comics
Invite Them Up: 4 hours on 3 comedy CDs and 1 DVD, hard to beat
Open Mic: behind-the-scenes documentary about the stand-up comedy biz
Man Alive - CBC Winnipeg Comedy Festival: CBC Winnipeg Comedy Festival show John Wing Jr, Glen Foster, others
Just For Laughs Vol 1 Best of The Uptown Comics: Uptown Comics Volume 1 is an excellent stand-up comedy DVD.
Just For Laughs Stand-Up Vol 2 On The Edge: Comedy Festival gala performances by comedy's edgiest,funniest
The Good,The Bad, And The Drugly: Major stand-up comedy artists do very different stuff.
Un-Cabaret - The Un & Only: Decent not quite comedy CD
10,000 Laughs : Best of the Boston Comedy Festival: Very good stand-up comedy CD features 16 stand-up comics and not a bad set in the bunch.
Comedy Death-Ray: A different comedy concept 2 CD set with Patton Oswalt, Maria Bamford, David Cross, and many others.
Cutting Edge Comedians of the 60s and 70s DVD - Capsule Review: Great Stand-up comedy TV clip collection.
Indian Invasion Comedy: Buffet style DVD featuring Mark Saldana, Bijai Nathan, Rajiv Satyal, Dalia, and Vidur Kapur.
Katt Williams presents Katthouse Comedy: Ordinary stand-up comedy DVD with Red Grant, Luenell, and Melanie Comarcho
National Lampoon Live Un-Scripted with Frank Caliendo: Buffet style stand-up comedy CD with Frank Caliendo, John DiResta, Bert Kreischer, Tess, and Steve Byrne
Comics Without Borders - Season One: Russell Peters hosts 18 comics in stand-up comedy variety pack
Best of Montreal Comedy: Good variety pack of up-and-coming Montreal comics
Yuk Yuk's Guide To Canadian Stand-up: Yuk Yuk's owner presents the history of Canadian stand-up comedy in must have 5 CD audio book set featuring more than 50 stand-up comics.
The Awkward Comedy Show: Buffet style stand-up comedy DVD featuring 5 nerdy Black comics
A 420 Friendly Comedy Special: Very good comedy but not as much pot as you'd expect.
Comedy Juice All-Stars: Very good compilation from Stand Up! Records aside from Eddie Pepitone