David Huntsberger One-Headed Beast is groundbreaking. At first I hesitated to use the word. It is an important comment and who am I to apply it? I think thirty years of listening and watching stand-up comedy give me some credence. An all animation stand-up show is, I think, a game changer.
Somebody has finally figured out a stand-up performance can be much more than some comic speaking standing up. That guy is Huntsberger.
The DVD for One-Headed Beast features two tracks, one is the live set with the comic and his mic. There is a screen to his right where the animation for his set is featured. The viewer sometimes gets the full benefit of the animation. The transitions are generally smooth.
The second option allows you to watch the animation created for the entire set. It makes for one hell of an experience. The animation is not just a visual word-for-word transposition of the monologue but its own art form. The end result is sheer brilliance.
The set itself is excellent. Huntsberger is an extremely smart and perceptive comic (check out my reviews for Humanitis and Explosion Land) and he is only getting better.
The show opens with material about how we perceive and react to people and things, the mind / body disconnect, and the things we tell ourselves to get through the day.
Next is a long form observational and philosophical piece on intrinsic nature of humans and animals. This material, especially the part on our inability or unwillingness to ask for help, will not only reach you to the core but make you think hard about how you deal with things.
Just when I thought Huntsberger could not get more brilliant, he comes up with a superb segment on the relationship our brain has with us and we with it as well as the role of the subconscious and the conscious (aka the voice in your head). This leads elegantly to a segment on the origins of religion.
As I mentioned before, the animation is not a visual copy of Huntsberger’s words. I found some segments less interesting but most are very good. I really, really liked the tree segment halfway through the set, the God bit, and pretty much everything from the mentally disturbed to how we sometimes think our life is scripted by third tier sitcom writers.
The closer is also superb.
David Huntsberger One-Headed Beast is a landmark stand-up DVD that is going to be one tall yardstick for what comes next.
Other David Hunstberger Reviews
Humanitis: Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant. The last 22 minutes are the best I have heard in a long while.
Explosion Land: Brilliant Superb Extraordinary comedy CD