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Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights - Hollywood to the Heartland - stand-up comedy DVD / documentary DVD review
VINCE VAUGHN'S WILD WEST COMEDY SHOW: 30 DAYS & 30 NIGHTS - HOLLYWOOD TO THE HEARTLAND Rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 4 1/2 stars
Featuring: Vince Vaughn, Bret Ernst, Ahmed Ahmed, John Caparulo, Peter Billingsley
Director: Art Sandal   Distributor: New Line Home Video
DVD release: 03 June 2008   Runtime: 100 minutes
(1 disc)
Format: Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC

DVD features: Aspect ratio 1.85:1, Audio (English - Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Subtitles (English, Spanish), Audio commentary (prod. Vince Vaughn, exec. prod. Peter Billingsley), Audio commentary (Bret Ernst, Sebastian Maniscalco, Ahmed Ahmed, dir. Ari Sandel), Sebastian Maniscalco, Ahmed Ahmed, Bret Ernst, John Caparulo, "Dinner for Two," "Vince, Dwight, and Buck," Grease, "I'm Not a Painter," Six Degrees of Wild West, Sweet Caroline, The Tour, The Making of Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show, Wild West Comedy Show (Behind the Scenes), Theatrical trailer, Sneak peeks

In 2006, familiar face Vince Vaughn (Old School, Wedding Crashers, many others) decided to get back to his stand-up roots by taking some up-and-coming comics on a bus tour through America's heartland, playing a stand-up comedy tour at small and medium-sized theatres across the country. The exhausting tour originally scheduled 30 different performances on 30 nights (though a few snags are hit along the way), with the up-and-comers Vaughn is supporting giving an often exhausting effort each night to get their foot in the door.

This documentary is pretty much a straightforward account of the tour, stop by stop. Lifelong country music fan Vaughn and the performers make side trips to various landmarks such as the Buck Owens museum in Bakersfield, as well as perform at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, home of the original Grand Ole Opry. Among the most poignant moments of the film is when the performers stop at a campground near Birmingham, AL, to give free tickets to the show Hurricane Katrina refugees. When the visit occurred, the performers were two-thirds of the way through the trip and tired and didn't really want to do it. However, seeing the gratitude from the people they visited, as well as the outpouring of support the refugees received, truly hit home and became one of the most rewarding aspects of the tour.

Intermixed with the stops are mini-backgrounds of each of the performers and how each of them used their personal background, character traits and personal histories (Ahmed Ahmed's Muslim heritage, John Caparulo's insecurity with women, Bret Ernst's homosexual brother, whom he lost to AIDS) into their performances.

Though the side trips and mini-backgrounds are informative, they take too much time away from the comedy. I would have preferred the film to feature more actual performance footage and a little less background information. Too much of the extra footage seems like filler when more of the performances could have been shown.

Still, what is shown is often quite funny. Among the highlights:
  • Vaughn and Peter Billingsley (forever known as Ralphie from A Christmas Story) showing a clip and reenacting a scene from the time they first met: while performing together on a hilariously awful and over-the-top ABC after-school special on steroids
  • Sebastian Maniscalco's account of the horrors of shopping at Ross Dress for Less.
  • Ahmed's retelling of a joke his Muslim father tried to tell him.
  • Ernst's hysterical account of his misadventures at the local roller rink as a teen and how it was dominated by a fellow named Tony (the funniest part of the film in my opinion).
Overall, though the film is rated R for language, it's rather tame and a good was to pass a lazy Sunday afternoon.

  • More behind-the-scenes footage and, thankfully, extended performances by each comedian.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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