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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Comedy > Zach Galifianakis - Live At The Purple Onion (Comedy Concert)

Zach Galifianakis - Live At The Purple Onion (Comedy Concert)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: B     Concert: A



My viewing of the new Zach Galifianakis: Live at the Purple Onion (2007) DVD was my first experience with what proved to be a truly unique and brilliantly funny comic.  Unlike most comics who seem to show up on stage with a list of jokes and simply read them off throughout their performance, Zack comes off as being largely unrehearsed. Zack’s comedy appears to be drawn from the act of performing itself.


For much of the show Zack sits hunched over a piano in an almost Tom Waits-like posture, softly tapping away at the keys as he delivers, seemingly off the top of his head, a long series of one-liners that almost brought me to tears.  When Zack is done with the piano (or maybe out of beer) he stands up and engages the audience; taking jabs at both himself and whomever his eyes happen to fall upon.  Zack is also never unaware of and constantly reminds his audience, that this performance is for a DVD.


In between clips from the live set at the Purple Onion, there is also hilarious road footage of Zack, his friend, and Zack’s fittingly absurd van, along with a mock interview of Zack’s brother Seth (played, of course, by Zack).  Aside from being hilarious, the interview with Zack’s fictional brother seems to get at a lot of what is so remarkable about Zack’s particular style of comedy; that is Zack’s constant adoption of new personas and characters which he imagines and uses straight away, often discarding them after only one line.  Unlike most comedians who adopt one stage personality and use this as their lens, Zack is constantly flying from one to another creating a sort of comedic kaleidoscope where every turn is funnier than the last.


Both the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 picture and Dolby Digital sound are adequate. Given the small budget nature of the film, viewers will hardly be surprised or distracted by the sometimes out of focus cameras and overall average video.  The sound options for this disc are Dolby 5.1 and Dolby stereo.  Hardly cutting edge but considering the content of the disc, not much more is really necessary, and it certainly doesn’t detract from this immensely enjoyable DVD.  Extras include outtakes and extended footage from the Purple Onion performance and the Seth Galifianakis interview, a funny bit of Zack shaving in order to become his brother, and footage taken at various locations on the way to The Purple Onion.



-   Jarrod DeArmitt

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