Saturday, July 20, 2013

Relatively Weak

I finally got around to watching Dave Foley's standup special on Showtime, Relatively Well.  I didn't know he did standup.  I know him best as a member of the sketch comedy troupe The Kids In The Hall who later starred in his own sitcom, NewsRadio.  I liked the former, not so much the latter, but thought Foley was a fairly talented actor. As a standup comedian, however, he's not as impressive.

The first half of the show is mostly personal stuff--his sex life, his two divorces, and so on.  The second half delves into politics, religion and his philosophical musings on the world.  But no matter what the subject, the content simply isn't there.

About halfway through the show, Foley let's us in on a secret--he's smart.  He then begins riffing on how we fear smart people today, when we should be fans, the same way we worship physical talent in sports heroes.  The irony is Foley may say he's smart (even if for comedic reasons), but his material isn't smart enough.  The observation aren't bad, but they're not that original, and Foley rarely gets beyond the generic that would make his act truly incisive.

To be fair, the hour goes by pretty smoothly.  However, it never cuts too deep, or really surprises you. 

PS  He has a bit about how he thinks Sarah Palin is stupid and hateful but he'd still gladly have sex with her.  And then to cover it up with his friends he'd tell them he thought it was Tina Fey.  I just want to note that though there is a certain resemblance, I've always thought Tina Fey was the better-looking of the two.  Am I alone in this?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In NewsRadio and other earlier shows, he played an everyman character- kind of mousy and whiny-but as the years and apparently the calories added up, he started doing a lot of ultimate loser roles (I remember one from Christine as Julia Louis Dreyfus' horrible blind date) - the kind of role Chevy Chase had in Community (a much better show)- a character unlikeable for almost every reason (although maybe some of us older fatter guys with receding hairlines who get ignored might identify and those types do watch a lot of TV).

PS Of course Tina is better looking but she gets a lot of mileage out of being (and acting) smart and pretending that she's horrible looking.

6:45 AM, July 20, 2013  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

I've enjoyed Foley's guest spots on hit established sitcoms, particularly in "The Middle" where he is the school psychologist at Brick's elementary school, and Scrubs where he was the death counselor at the hospital. But he can't carry a show himself. I liked News radio a lot, but mostly for Phil Hartman, Andy Dick and Joe Rogan (that was really some ensemble cast with Stephen Root and Maura Tierney as well!)

5:41 AM, July 21, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was excellent as the loser in Sky High, the teacher who's in charge of the sad sack sidekicks.

11:20 PM, July 21, 2013  

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