DVD Review: The Comedy

STUDIO: New Video/Cinedigm | DIRECTOR: Rick Alverson | CAST: Tim Heidecker, James Murphy, Eric Wareheim, Gregg Turkington
DVD RELEASE DATE: 3/26/2013 | PRICE: DVD $29.95
BONUSES: commentary, deleted scenes
SPECS: NR | 94 min. | Comedy | 1.33:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 2.0

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall


A film that is sure to polarize audiences, The Comedy plays like a John Cassavetes film on acid—with a bit of Jackass thrown in for good measure. The protagonist is Swanson (Tim Heidecker of the zonked-out comedy duo Tim & Eric), a Williamsburg trustfund slacker with a dying father, a yacht, a group of childish friends and a real unsociable attitude.

The Comedy movie scene

Tim Heidecker slacks in The Comedy.

Swanson is a character with a sense of entitlement who works strictly on instinct. If he wants to do something, he does it, whether it’s causing a racially-motivated ruckus in a bar populated by African-Americans, seducing a restaurant co-worker by grossing her out, or making a taxi driver uneasy by making a deal to play cabbie for a half-hour.

The film is anecdotal, following Swanson from incident to incident, and leaving all who come in contact with him shudder in their wake—sometimes literally.

Primitively shot in an appropriately jagged, cinema verite style, The Comedy also features Eric Wareheim of Tim & Eric and James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem.

While the film received some attention on the festival circuit, during its limited run in theaters, and on pay-per-view a few months ago, its arrival on DVD will undoubtedly widen its audience of lovers and loathers. Maybe the disc exposure will even turn it into a cult item, for better or worse.


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About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.