Corey Holcomb
The Problem Is You
Ad Lib Records
Shout! Factory 2004
DVD and CD
45 minutes
Parental Advisory

Cory Holcomb, also known as the ghetto Dr. Phil, is a comic who can do a little more than 40 minutes of standup material about relationships where every joke is funny and original. This is no mean feat considering many comedians only manage five minutes of relationship jokes before you get the feeling you’ve heard it before or know where it is going. His basic attitude about relationships is, as the title of this Corey Holcomb DVD CD set suggests, The Problem Is You.

The Problem Is You is an elegantly filmed live stand-up performance where it is obvious somebody knows what he or she is doing because the camera work itself enhances some of the jokes and punch lines. Many stand-up comedy DVDs consist of a camera plunked down somewhere and close-ups and long shots of the comic and the crowd. Here, the various camera angles, shots, and so on all serve to enhance a solid performance by a young black comic whose take on men and women is humorous but becomes darker and darker as the set goes on.

What makes Corey Holcomb an original comedic talent is not only his take on relationships but how he can present material as ghetto oriented or based yet changing just a word or two would make this stuff great fodder for redneck jokes. This is especially true about tracks such as Daughter’s Birthday and K-Mart. Holcomb is obviously a very secure and self-assured comedian because he obviously doesn’t feel the need to shout, run around the stage, mess with the audience to get people’s attention. This is the most laid back and self-contained yet funny and energetic stand-up performance I have seen in a long time.

The only reproach I have is I wish he had done more with the Women’s Blue Book value bit.

Bonus features on this excellent stand-up comedy DVD include Corey’s Love Lair: Mood Setting For Your TV which is a shot of a glass of red wine, a Corey Holcomb staple, in front of a fireplace. This is boring and a nightmare to get out of when you play the DVD. More interesting is Get the #*!@ Away From Each Other (his spelling): Free Advice From the Ghetto Dr. Phil where Holcomb, probably in a dressing room somewhere, reads a few letters of fans seeking advice and answers as Dr. Phil might. This is cute for a while but wears thin.

Also included in our version of this Ad Lib / Shout! Factory release is the stand-up comedy CD version of the same show. Anything free is always cool and since the DVD is very good, the comedy CD version of The Problem Is You is also very good even if a track list on the CD itself would have been appreciated.

DVD / CD Track List:

Out With Your Girl
First Date
Good Women
Breaking Up
Daughter’s Birthday
Dating Tips
Hidden, Defective Body Parts
Erection Problems
Voicemail Champ
New Marriage Vows
A Gentleman’s Rotation
Get Yourself A Camera Phone
Growing Up
Words For the Ladies
The Joke That Will Get You Fired From Your Job


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