I've been watching "Last Comic Standing" this season pretty religiously, in that I've managed to catch every episode thus far. It's an inspirational experience, one that prompts me to ponder trying to do stand-up comedy myself. I mean, I'm at least funnier than the likes of ANT ("I'm gay! It's funny!") or Tammy Pescatelli ("I'm Sicilian! It's funny!").
And then I watch Margaret Cho.
Margaret Cho makes it look so easy. Sure, her jokes aren't always hysterical, but her delivery is. Sure, her politics sometimes get in the way of being entertaining, but she can follow a long anti-Bush rant with a joke about fisting that will make even the hardest-hearted Republican giggle inside.
REVOLUTION is Cho's third concert film, and astonishingly (especially after watching LCS, where comics pull the same gag out of their mouths three nights in a row) it's all new material. Sure, she goes back and does an impression of her mother, but it's a bit like a band playing their "big hit"--you know it's going to happen, the audience wants it, and it's certainly fun even if you've heard it before, so just go along with it. It only lasts for a minute or two anyway.
The highlights of REVOLUTION include Cho taking on Bangkok sex shows, Asian portrayals in films and pooping all over her car due to a diet she was on, but even between these rolling-on-the-floor-laughing bits, there's some gold to be found. Fans of sexual and scatalogical humor will be satisfied, and it's to Cho's credit that the humor never feels like vulgarity for the sake of vulgarity. She's out to entertain, not to shock.
The makers of REVOLUTION have wisely taken a step back from NOTORIOUS C.H.O.'s shots of the audience. In fact, the only time we see the audience is at the brief beginning--thankfully, there's no footage of irritating fans doing their own Margaret's mother impressions to make us cringe. No, this is Cho's show, and the filmmakers know it.
Sure, it's not all great stuff. Cho's wrap-up speeches (NOTORIOUS' gay marriage tirade, REVOLUTION's lengthy diatribe about discrimination in general) are pretty much just playing to the choir, getting the obviously pro-gay audience worked into a frenzy before she leaves the stage. Her opening Bush jokes are strangely lackluster, focussing on the old "nu-cl-lar" pronounciation. (We know he can't speak coherently by this point) But the middle... the middle is prime Cho.
As for LCS, I'm rooting for Jay London (yeah, everyone hates him. I don't care.) or Corey Holcomb. I miss Jim Wiggins.
(And what the hell, WILL DURST doesn't make it to the finals? WILL DURST? The man's had more laughs in his dead skin than ANT's ever gotten.)