All In
Dennis Miller
Stand-up Comedy DVD
HBO Home Video 2006
60 minutes

All the erudite references cannot mask the paucity of Dennis Miller ‘s wit in All In , the stand-up comedy DVD version of his latest HBO special. You know you are in for a rough ride when Miller opens with ED jokes, jokes about fat people at Wal Mart, comb overs, and comments on the increasing age of flight attendants. This show is to comedy what Roseanne Barr is to singing the national anthem.

Miller opens by saying he is a joke whisperer, a reference to Jennifer Love Hewitt’s show Ghost Whisperer. This is true as he definitely channeled the opening act for a Borscht Belt comic past his prime. I thought comedy about Altoids, George Foreman grills, and 36 hour erections was ground only open mic comics still used a metal detector on. You get the impression this comic is rolling the dice at the black jack table.

Dennis Miller does try to do the kind of lettered espial comedy that made him famous but he too often gives the impression he is a kid with a water pistol vying for attention next to the Bellagio’s water fountains. Miller used to be pretty good at political comedy in his opening monologue on Dennis Miller Live and this is perhaps why he kept a few of the cue cards from those shows; how else can you explain his trying to sneak in a few jokes about Bill Clinton and oral performances or a bit about why he voted Bush 2 years before All In was taped. The worst time machine stuck on rewind moment is when he makes a reference to bombings in Belfast.

Supposedly, Miller has a more right-wing audience now. This may be true as the stand-up comic feels the need to explain what a hybrid car is and bases most of his similes on TV and movies like Raiders Of The Lost Ark although he does try for a couple of scholarly analogies like the one about a Ubangi couple fighting.

It is appropriate that Dennis Miller All In was filmed in Las Vegas a town that is all glitter and no substance where the odds of hitting a jackpot are slim to none. The one honest moment on this comedy DVD is when Miller admits he wrote a joke starting from the word squatter.


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