Comic Relief: The Greatest…

Synopsis: Humor in the face of adversity. The phenomenon that is Comic Relief is a uniquely American dynamic, created by Bob Zmuda and Chris Albrecht as a way of using laughter to elicit generosity.

For more than 20 years, hosts Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams have brought the worlds best comedic talents to the mic in an annual charitable event unmatched by any comedy festival or tour to date – all have given their best and given it freely.

This collection presents the best of 20 years of Comic Relief.
Comic Relief: The Greatest… 8.0

eyelights: the massiveness of this best-of compilation.
eyesores: the brevity of each individual set.

I guess sometimes you need to take a break from what’s currently on your plate, and that’s when this ‘Comic Relief’ disc came in for me; while I love horror films, it’s nice to change the channel sometimes.

This particular disc is part of a 2-disc set that includes ‘Comic Relief: …The Latest‘ disc. I decided to split them because they’re very separate products, one  being a complete show, an actual moment in time, and the other being a compilation

In short, this is a highlight reel of clips from the first 20 years of Comic Relief, featuring Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams. It serves up so many performers (albeit briefly) that it’s virtually impossible to comment on or rate each one.

But here’s a complete (?) list of the comedians, should you want to see if your favourite(s) are on it before you check this programme out:

Steve Allen
Louie Anderson
Dan Aykroyd
Roseanne Barr
Jim Belushi
Richard Belzer
Milton Berle
Elayne Boosler
Bret Butler
John Candy
Drew Carey
George Carlin
Jim Carrey
Dana Carvey
Dave Chappelle
Margaret Cho
Dane Cook
Peter Cook
David Cross
Bill Dana
Michael Davis
Robin Duke
Bobcat Goldthwait
John Goodman
Gilbert Gottfried
Kathy Griffin
Arsenio Hall
Woody Harrelson
Richard Jeni
Jake Johanssen
Alan King
Robert Klein
Don Knotts
Eugene Levy
Richard Lewis
Shelley Long
Jon Lovitz
Bill Maher
Carlos Mencia
Dennis Miller
Dudley Moore
Rosie O’Donnell
Catherine O’Hara
Bob Odenkirk
Rick Overton
Penn & Teller
Tom Poston
Queen Latifah
Gilda Radner
Harold Ramis
Caroline Rhea
Carl Reiner
Paul Reiser
Don Rickles
Joan Rivers
Chris Rock
Paul Rodriguez
Gary Shandling
Craig Shoemaker
Martin Short
Bobby Slayton
Jon Stewart
Jim Varney
Marsha Warfield
Jeff Wayne
Steven Wright

It’s all pretty funny, as one would expect from a “best of” set. Bizarrely, the least interesting bits were the “show-stopping” numbers by Crystal/Goldberg/Williams. Maybe I’m just not getting the spirit in which they hosted the Comic Relief fundraising spectacles, but I found them mostly boring – although not tedious as in the other disc.

So if you want well over two hours of laughs of all kinds or if you’re interested in discovering many of the United States’ most well-known stand-up comedians, then this is a terrific item. But be fore-warned: it comes with the ghastly afore-mentioned other disc, whose name shall be mentioned nevermore.

Still, at a low price-point or as a rental, ‘Comic Relief: The Greatest…’ is worth also having that coaster taking up space on the bookshelf.

Date of viewing: October 6, 2012

One response to “Comic Relief: The Greatest…

  1. Pingback: George Carlin: Personal Favorites | thecriticaleye·

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