David Cross -- one-half of the duo that created Home Box
Office's absurd and funny sketch comedy series, Mr. Show with Bob and David --
turns in a performance to be proud of in his first solo effort for the network, David
Cross: The Pride Is Back.
Filmed on location at Seattle's Showbox Theater, the
60-minute stand-up routine takes on many of the same topics that Cross and partner Bob
Odenkirk send up on Mr. Show.
The set starts off with a typical scenario for a stand-up
comedy routine -- a riff on the Seattle airport and its mural of a magic act.
But the routine soon veers off in an awkward direction, as
Cross moves on to the porno magazines he saw in the airport newsstand and wonders aloud
why anyone would purchase them for a long plane ride.
A word of warning for the easily offended: Tune away from
this performance. Cross isn't afraid to use blue language, nor to slaughter a few
sacred cows. Religious fundamentalism becomes a target within his comedy crosshairs early
He talks of how fortunate he feels to be alive for the turn
of the millennium so he can listen to religious fundamentalists who will "have to do
their backpedaling when Armageddon doesn't occur."
Cross also offers a graphic description of something that
happened to him on a visit to Mexico to see a Virgin Mary phenomenon, which is best left
for him to explain. Once again, this performance is not meant for the easily offended.
Cross' entire performance is laced with social
commentary. In addition to the church, he also takes aim at trendy advertising, big
business and Hollywood.
But his offbeat style falls more along the lines of Ben
Stiller (for whom he started as a writer) or Janeane Garofalo then, say, George Carlin. He
also sometimes lapses into characters that seem more suited for the sketch comedy of Mr.
Show than for a stand-up performance.
And he doesn't just swing at the right. He also takes
a jab at High Times magazine -- "a match intellectually for Highlights for
Children" -- acting out a fictional editorial meeting.
There's even some inside baseball for cable-TV folk.
Cross opines that most Hollywood stars only want their jobs so they can appear on
Bravo's Inside the Actors Studio, then he re-enacts host James Lipton's
over-the-top acceptance speech from a past CableACE Awards ceremony, of course
embellishing the scenario.
David Cross: The Pride Is Back premieres on HBO
Saturday, Sept. 18, at 10 p.m.