This is a new one. I couldn't find a rating on IMDB. Not even "Unrated." Just nothing where it was supposed to be. If I was to rate it, I would rate it "R". But I'm not. So just realize that there are a bunch of filthy jokes and stories.
DIRECTOR: Jordan Brady
I love documentaries about comedians. I'm beating you to the punch: they are full of dirty jokes, but I find the lifestyle of the comedian to be fascinating. I've listening to a criminal amount of podcasts interviewing comedians and they all tell similar stories, but there is a certain starving artist quality to a stand up's lifestyle. They all tell about how little they're paid and how club owners, for the most part, are the worst. I Am Road Comic tells many of the same stories, but with a budget in mind for the actual documentary itself. Considering that I'm watching the 30 for 30 documentary about O.J. Simpson right now, I have to put I Am Road Comic into the category of extremely cheaply made movies. I got super lucky to find the still that I used at the top because nothing on Google Images was really all that high res. We have to let Jordan Brady a little off the hook for how cheap the movie looks considering that the movie even addresses how cheap the movie was to make.
I never saw I Am Comic. The only reason that we started watching this one is because it was on Netflix and I didn't want to go to bed. I'm a child. I have never made any bones about this. I hear I Am Comic is pretty good, so I don't want to discourage Jordan Brady from making more of these. I hear the next in the series is about comedians who go into war zones to perform for troops. I might see that one too. The problem with this movie is that it really lacks scope. I don't know if it is the budget that is holding back the content, but I only got to peek into the life of Wayne Federman and how one stop on a tour really affected him and his opening act. The first review that is still on this website is a review of Harmontown and that gives more of an insight into what the road does to someone's act. It shows the bickering and the disgust of having to do the same thing over and over again for variable shows. I Am Road Comic really does a fantastic job about destroying Jack Didley's, but the audience was fairly responsive to the act. Does this mean that the comedian is going to get a similar reception nationwide? The movie hints at horror stories from the road, but these are the same stories we have heard time and time again. The point of the documentary is to see the insanity that the road presents. Rather, it was more like watching the somewhat boring weekend in the tri-cities.
An odd choice for the movie was the inclusion of T.J. Miller's performance in San Diego. Miller, a more well-known comedian than Federman, talks about being on the final leg of a tour and performing to sold out audiences. Perhaps it was a contrast to what Federman was going through in the Tri-Cities, but there was something almost more compelling about his story. My guess is that Brady and the audience didn't really consider San Diego as a prime example of being a road comedian and I'm sure it was simply happenstance that Jordan Brady was able to run into him while performing in an area that wasn't unreachable. Miller seems to be an interesting subject as well, (not to disparage Federman and company) because he is much more about the craft of comedy rather than the business end of a poorly paid gig. I'm not saying that Federman and company's story wasn't worth telling. I think it should have just been balanced out with the other end of the spectrum. The movie is 68 minutes. There seems to be so much to explore that I just don't get why the movie ends where it does.
But the best part of the comedy doc is that it is meant to be funny. Yes, the stories are funny. Some of the more charming moments of the film are the candid interviews with people like Marc Maron, Pete Holmes, W. Kamau Bell, Jim Norton, and Doug Benson. But this is podcasting. There is so little to the visual element to this movie that I just am disappointed by the possibility of something better.
Film is great. It can challenge us. It can entertain us. It can puzzle us. It can awaken us.
Mr. H has watched an upsetting amount of movies. They bring him a level of joy that few things have achieved.