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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Stand-Up > TV > Cable TV > Best Of The Improv set

Best Of The Improv


Picture: C+     Sound: C     Extras: D     Episodes: B-



The A&E Network scored an early hit with Evening At The Improv and this new Best Of The Improv set offers six hour-long compilations on six DVDs that offer a look at a slew of stand-up comedians, many before they hit it big.  They are:


Brad Garrett (host 1)

Jim Aleck

David Spade

John Byner

Diane Ford

A.J. Jamal

Rich Shydner

Greg Travis

Janeane Garofalo

Steve Harvey

Bill Maher (host 2)

Brian Hailey

Rick Rockwell (one of the worst here)

Hugh Fink

Paula Poundstone

Martin Lawrence

Denis Leary

Jeff Marder

Anthony Griffin

Rita Rudner (host 3)

Rich Hall

Margaret Cho

Carol Siskind

Chas Elstner

Lizz Winstead

Stephanie Miller (brief, future talk show host)

Bobby Collins

Jack Gallagher

Rick Overton (host 4)

Tim Allen

Jerry Seinfeld

Charles Fleischer

Norm MacDonald

Richard Jeni

Dennis Wolfberg

Ray Romano

Richard Belzer (host 5)

Max Alexander

Will Durst

Murray Langston

Mike McDonald

Ellen DeGeneres

D.L. Hughley

Dennis Blair

Larry Miller

Carrie Snow (host 6)

Franklin Ajaye

Rosie O’Donnell

Chris Rock

Jack Coen

Stephanie Hodge

Jeff Foxworthy

John Mulrooney

Scott LaRose

Judy Tenuta

Drew Carey



The Cho, O’Donnell & Tenuta segments repeat what was seen on the Funny Ladies set.  The fourth and fifth volumes are the strongest, as denoted by the hosts on the list above.  It is hit and miss, as was the Funny Ladies set, but in more cases here, the lesser knowns surprise more often.  It is a somewhat stronger set than Funny Ladies, and not just because there is 50% more material, but because this is better edited and more diverse.


The full frame 1.33 X 1 image is from all the older NTSC professional tapings of the series from years ago and is as clean as its going to get.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 is weak and monophonic and the set is totally devoid of extras.  This is a good stand up comedy set, but Best Of The Improv could have offered more.  For fans, this will do.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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