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Stand-up DVD - Ted Alexandro - As Much As You Want

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Tex Alexandro
As Much As You Want
DVD or CD
Independent Release
DVD: 60 minutes
www.tedalexandro.com

As Much As You Want is the first Ted Alexandro comedy CD or stand-up comedy DVD. Both contain the same material so Alexandro was kind enough to send us the DVD version. Aside from a couple of shots where you see the back of the head of an audience member, As Much As You Want looks and sounds like a well-made good budget Comedy Central or Comedy Channel production so kudos to producer David Lauterbach for that because Alexandro?s standup humor certainly deserves that kind of care and attention.

It is very difficult to pigeonhole Ted Alexandro as a comic. He covers autobiographical and observational jokes but can also do political humour, funny stuff about relationships, family humor. He can be edgy, as with his Rosa Parks and President Bush bits but can also do interesting interpersonal relationship stuff like when he muses about people insisting on telling you their dreams.

As Much As You Want is a little misleading in that it is some 60 minutes long but you generally want more. The Mystery section of the DVD that includes the Jesus Abs joke, a funny joke about accountants for rap stars, a clever and tight joke about naps being like suicide, and a bit about how we all enjoy cleavage season is but one of the 8 tracks on this independent Ted Alexandro comedy DVD whose titles usually reveal but the surface of the material inside. Unfortunately, the last two sections, Teaching and The Law are not, relatively speaking, as strong as the rest of this very good comedy DVD.

Alexandro also shows off his talents for the segue, has a couple of long-term recalls that really work, and puts on a solid performance throughout. There are, unfortunately, a couple of moments when the stand-up comic has the mic in the wrong place so the sound level suffers but these are few and far between and do not hinder the enjoyment of this really good and funny comedy DVD.

If you have to choose between the DVD or CD version of As Much As You Want, choose the DVD. It includes the weirdest commentary track I have ever heard. On this commentary track, New-York comic Alexandro discusses the show with his "comedy personal trainer" Jean Michel and I still can't figure out if this guy is for real or if this is just a weird and very funny practical joke. Jean Michel is basically The Peter Principle cubed. This is a guy who deems himself an expert comedy counselor to Alexandro but he hates comedy and suffers from stage fright. We learn that he wanted the DVD to be filmed in an empty auditorium (Huh? You can do stand-up comedy without an audience?), wanted the comic to use a corded mic instead of a wireless mic ?for the challenge? and that the reason Alexandro has not been to Aspen or the Just For Laughs Montreal International Comedy Festival is that his comedy guru is afraid to fly. Jean Michel?s response to that is, ?Hey, you did Suffolk three years in a row and that?s right in the middle!? There are even more very weird moments on this audio track that make it for one very strange experience, especially when sometimes Alexandro?s body language on stage counterpoints the bizarre stuff Jean Michel is saying on the commentary track. The weirdest of the weird is when Jean Michel tells Alexandro his story about being arrested at Mardi Gras would make a great bit while Alexandro is setting up the joke.

Richard Lanoie



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