Ron Shock, father of the guy who was nominated for an Academy Award for his computer work on The Fifth Element, is an excellent old-style tell funny stories with a beginning, a middle, and an end kind of stand-up comedian. He is also a very funny guy with a fairly dark sense of humor. Bootleg II is Shock in performance in a comedy club somewhere in Kentucky.
Although Bootleg II comes on a DVD, its original tape source is easy to see so the picture quality is more that of a VCD than a DVD. This, however, should not stop you from looking into this one-hour performance by a solid comic. Yes, there is a bit of a home movie feel to the visual but watching Ron Shock in performance adds to the pleasure of those already familiar with his many comedy CDs. A professional is someone who can make what he or she does look deceptively simple and a professional comedian is someone who can make it look deceptively simple to tell a joke, get the timing right, and not have you notice all the other minutia (mannerisms, facial expressions, pauses, hand work with a cigarette, etc) that go into making the joke (or funny story in Shock's case) work. Just the opening sequence of Bootleg II, Smoking and Non-smokers is a perfect example of a stand-up comedian in full control of his art. It is the simple and very funny story of the war between smokers and non-smokers but the heart of the joke lies in how long it takes this guy to light the cigarette he is holding while telling the story.
Bootleg II also contains a short version of You're Gonna Die Anyway, a whole bit on Jim, Tammy Fae Baker, and Jessica Hahn not available on any CD, a short Bill Hicks tip of the hat, a too short but funny routine on fundamentalists, the English bible, and dinosaurs, a few giraffe and lion jokes (also available on one of his recent CDs), questions from the audience -that suffer from the standard viewer/listener can't hear them problem-and the classic Biker Titty Bar story.
If there is one real flaw with this homemade DVD is that there are a few callbacks here and there to material not on the DVD. Fans of Ron Shock will know what he is talking about, others will not. It's not a real problem but still somewhat annoying. Still, you got to like the simple, no fancy camera work, this is me in performance feel of this bootleg.
Other Ron Shock Reviews
American Storyteller: American Storyteller is Ron Shock at his best, again
Oral Roberts, 900 ft Jesus & Other Tall Tales: This is one hell of a very funny comedy CD
You're Gonna Die Anyway: Great comedy CD by a very funny stand-up comic.
Dog Stories: a definite must for any fan of funny stories and stand-up comedy
Bootleg 1: If you are willing to overlook the production values, although the sound quality is just fine, Bootleg l by Ron Shock is a solid comedy DVD.
Deep In The Heart Of Texas: Another great comedy CD by a master.
Comic of the Week 2: Ron Shock is my all-time favorite stand-up comic
Live at 65: Includes some classics and two new bits. One about safecracking, another about escaping jail.
Ron Shock Audio Reviews