American comedian Denis Leary performs his famous one-man
stand-up act attacking, among other things, non-smokers, rehab
programs, and vegetarians...
Complete Denis Leary Live consists
of two live shows: No Cure For Cancer (1993) and Lock
'n Load (1997). I have to admit to never having seen Denis
Leary's act before - sure I knew about him and what to expect,
but I'd never seen either of these two shows before. And to
be honest I can't say that my life is enriched at all for
having finally seen them.
No Cure For Cancer Leary's way of getting the attention
of his audience - of getting his message across - is to shout
really loud and brag about what drugs he's taken or is still
taking. That sounds like your typical teenager to me - not
the way that a grown man gets laughs. For the majority of
the act I sat there mystified as to how this gig had been
so well received at the time - he just came across as incredibly
immature and not very funny.
be honest there are only a handful of belly laughs to be had
in the first half of the show. These include his observations
about the pointless warnings on cigarette packets - it's not
going to stop smokers from smoking one bit; and his gag about
John Lennon dying after having six bullets shot in his chest
while Yoko Ono, who was stood next to him, didn't even get
hit by one! Why?!!?
actually only when he moves on to his family that his gags
start to hit home. His stories about his father and his DIY
panelling are very amusing, as are his observations of men
not being allowed to cry.
by far the biggest problem with No Cure For Cancer
(ignoring the fact that over 50% of it is just not very funny)
is the quality of the recording. Not only is the picture close
to unwatchable in places, but the sound constantly slips out
of synch with Leary's actual lip movements.
is also some question over how much of the material was actually
written by Leary and wasn't 'stolen' from his old friend comedian
Bill Hicks. After hearing No Cure For Cancer, Hicks
and Leary fell out with Hicks claiming that some of the material
had been 'lifted' from his 1989 act Sane Man.
is a noticeable shift in his act in the four years between
both shows. It's very odd to see, in Lock 'N Load,
how an act that relied on anger suddenly mellows into one
where Leary is not angry with the world any more, just confused.
It could be that being a father has mellowed him out somewhat,
but his smoking and drinking seems to have been cut down dramatically.
And he no longer brags about drug taking or other illegal
activities. In fact the only thing that is remotely drug related
is his rant about coffee.
his family provide the material for a large junk of the act
- especially his two young kids. I couldn't really work out
what all the religious backdrop was all about though. There
is a slight religious slant to some of his material, but not
enough for the backdrops to make any real sense.
include a Behind the Scenes style Making of featurette
(8 mins) and the A**hole music video (7 mins) for No
Cure For Cancer. For Lock 'n Load we get Love
Barge music video (3.30 mins).
all honesty this is pretty mediocre stuff and hasn't aged
well at all. It's only really worth buying if you are a real
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