Independent Release
60 minutes

Ron Shock, father of the guy who was nominated for an Academy Award for his computer work on The Fifth Element, is an excellent old-style tell funny stories with a beginning, a middle, and an end kind of stand-up comedian. He is also a very funny guy with a fairly dark sense of humor. Bootleg II is Shock in performance in a comedy club somewhere in Kentucky.

Although Bootleg II comes on a DVD, its original tape source is easy to see so the picture quality is more that of a VCD than a DVD. This, however, should not stop you from looking into this one-hour performance by a solid comic. Yes, there is a bit of a home movie feel to the visual but watching Ron Shock in performance adds to the pleasure of those already familiar with his many comedy CDs. A professional is someone who can make what he or she does look deceptively simple and a professional comedian is someone who can make it look deceptively simple to tell a joke, get the timing right, and not have you notice all the other minutia (mannerisms, facial expressions, pauses, hand work with a cigarette, etc) that go into making the joke (or funny story in Shock’s case) work. Just the opening sequence of Bootleg II, Smoking and Non-smokers is a perfect example of a stand-up comedian in full control of his art. It is the simple and very funny story of the war between smokers and non-smokers but the heart of the joke lies in how long it takes this guy to light the cigarette he is holding while telling the story.

Bootleg II also contains a short version of You’re Gonna Die Anyway, a whole bit on Jim, Tammy Fae Baker, and Jessica Hahn not available on any CD, a short Bill Hicks tip of the hat, a too short but funny routine on fundamentalists, the English bible, and dinosaurs, a few giraffe and lion jokes (also available on one of his recent CDs), questions from the audience -that suffer from the standard viewer/listener can’t hear them problem-and the classic Biker Titty Bar story.

If there is one real flaw with this homemade DVD is that there are a few callbacks here and there to material not on the DVD. Fans of Ron Shock will know what he is talking about, others will not. It’s not a real problem but still somewhat annoying. Still, you got to like the simple, no fancy camera work, this is me in performance feel of this bootleg.


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