Suzanne Westenhoefer
Live At The Village
Image Entertainment
60 minutes plus extras

Getting the DVD of one of your favorite stand-up comics can sometimes be a bummer: does Suzanne Westenhoefer live up, in person as it were, to what you imagined listening to the comedy CDs? For Live at the Village the answer is absolutely.

There are added laughs and there is more fun watching this great lesbian comedian perform in concert and that is the key to a solid stand-up comedy DVD. Of course, aficionados of comedy such as we are already very familiar with Westenhoefer’s three comedy CDs: I’m Not Cindy Brady, Nothing In My Closet But Clothes, and Guaranteed Fresh (all on the always reliable Uproar label). This makes watching the DVD a little risky as this viewer has heard some of the material. Fortunately, this comedienne makes everything fresh not only by not repeating verbatim funny stories and jokes already recorded on Cd but by adding new twists, new angles, and new material.

The other advantage of watching this funny lady perform is seeing the art of delivering the joke, the talent needed to make the already humorous story visually interesting and adding to the punchline with your body and your facial expression. There is much more to standup comedy than simply standing up and telling a funny joke and Westenhoefer not only understands that, she has the talent and the intelligence to do it effortlessly.

A gay audience will perhaps enjoy some of the jokes a little bit more than a straight audience, though, as Westenhoefer says in the too short interview included as an extra, sometimes a mostly straight audience can be a little bit more fun (and vice versa), but what causes laughter makes you laugh no matter who you are. A funny relationship story is a funny relationship story; it is not the identity of the two people in the relationship that makes it funny but the events and the fact anyone in a relationship (and even single folk) can relate to it. Fans of good comedy, funny biographical and relationship stories, hilarious stories about cats (and Westenhoefer does a mean cat imitation or two), and weird adventures at the Home Depot will definitely enjoy Live at the Village.

Suzanne Westenhoefer is out and an activist. She insists on being introduced as a lesbian comedian, something which annoyed this viewer at first, funny is funny, until the motivation behind this was clarified in the short interview included on this stand-up comedy DVD, so there are a few well-placed shots taken at those self-righteous morons who blame all of society’s woes, the weather, and the extinction of the dinosaurs, on gay people. This is quite enjoyable. But, in the end, what makes this stand-up comic excellent is who she is and how good she is at what she does.

Not that this stand-up comed DVD is perfect. It is too short, the interview is too short, and there are four or five artsy-fartsy camera shots that distract from what is really important: the show.

Track list:

Gay Stuff on Television
Hating Gay People
Airport Security
Half & Half
Little Planes
Cars, Sports and the Midwest
Cell Phones
Sex at Your Parents’ House
Getting Old
The Needy Cat
Home Depot
The Gift of Gab
End Credits


Interview with Suzanne Westenhoefer


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