The Original Kings of Comedy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Original Kings of Comedy Reviews

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Rob Blackwelder
January 1, 2000
Is it funny? Sure -- although not as funny as the comics themselves seem to think it is.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
January 1, 2000
At times the material grows as repetitive as it is profane.
Top Critic
January 1, 2000
These kings ... eventually walk off the stage without the viewer knowing any more about them than when the film began.
Eugene Novikov
Film Blather
May 22, 2003
Are they funny? Most of the time. But the humor, passing itself off as insightful social commentary, rarely rises above simple stereotypes.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
January 1, 2000
The movie could best be described as extremely inconsistent.
Robert Payne
January 1, 2000
Little of the material feels distinctive, fresh, or insightful -- let alone edgy.
| Original Score: 2/4
Steve Simels
TV Guide
January 1, 2000
There's no world view, no scathing insight, no moment when you find your perceptions genuinely challenged.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Randall King
Winnipeg Sun
January 1, 2000
Though boasting four of the best black comics in the biz, this film by Spike Lee is not going to dethrone Richard Pryor Live as the funniest comedy concert film ever.
Chris Cobb
Ottawa Citizen
January 1, 2000
This is not cutting-edge comedy at all, but four strangely repetitive stand-up routines.
James Sanford
Kalamazoo Gazette
June 15, 2002
like most stand-up shows, has plenty of peaks and valleys... could easily have been trimmed by at least half an hour without any major losses.

Empire Magazine
January 1, 2000
You're still left thinking that the funniest man in the building was not actually in front of the camera.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic

Houston Chronicle
January 1, 2000
Some of the humor on display in the movie is very funny, but much of it is offensive and demeaning.
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
January 29, 2005
I laughed myself into a headache. I laughed so hard I was hoping they'd get bad for awhile so I could relax a minute, wipe the tears out of my eyes.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
Harvey is a master of timing and tone.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
January 1, 2000
The key to such a movie's success is its ability to capture the 'you are there' feeling -- a task that The Original Kings of Comedy is largely effective at.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
January 1, 2000
For about 3/4 of its length, The Original Kings of Comedy feels like the funniest movie of the year.
Eric D. Snider
January 1, 2000
The comics really are good at what they do, provoking laughter from people of any race.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
May 26, 2006
The film offers more than just yuks, however. As in Lee's best work, the film intelligently discusses race and race relations, though this time through the guise of humor.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Bob Bloom
January 1, 2000
This is an interesting experience, not so much for the four gentlemen named above, who all are very fine comedians. No, it is more for the cultural significance of this venture.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Dan Lybarger
Nitrate Online
January 1, 2000
Lee seems well aware that the reason to catch the flick is to catch the comics.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
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