Brian Dykstra is a political and social critic, a performance poet, and a comic in that order. Perhaps this is why I rather enjoyed but wish I had enjoyed more his comic monologue The Jesus Factor. I would have preferred more comedian and critic because I despise any form of performance poetry, an oxymoron if there ever was one. If you do not mind that stuff, this stand-up comedy DVD is better than I think it is.

There is no denying Dykstra is immensely talented, intelligent, and au courant. I just cannot get over the performance poetry segments where a lot of the material is artificed through alliteration, rhythm, and rhyme schemes. It ain’t a crime if it rhymes but there are times there should be fines. That he also seems to believe speed of delivery emotes anger does not help. What really distanced me from those sections was this material sounded oddly Dr. Seussish. I know, weird, but there you go.

Once you get past that The Jesus Factor is good stuff. Brian Dykstra knows his bible, history, and politics and thus is well armed to take on the, wrongly named, right. The Those Magic Cells segment is particularly good though I was surprised the audience was surprised at the very telegraphed punch line. The comic does surprise from time to time as when he slips in a comparison between the Bill Of Rights, Stairway To Heaven, an Eminem, and a Nelly song.

The weirdest thing about this comedy DVD is Dykstra makes you laugh but it is guilty laughter as you understand how serious his points are and how sad things he is talking about are. In the end though, you are oddly aware he is preaching to the unconverted much like the creationists are preaching to the converted.

The Jesus Factor is a two camera, front and side, job. Aside from the odd frame where Dykstra gets beheaded, ironic perhaps, or his face gets cut out, it looks and sounds good.

The Jesus Factor
Brian Dykstra
Stand-up Comedy DVD
Uproar! 2008
91 minutes

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