Length: 83 minutes
Director: Andy Dick (“The Andy Dick Show”)
Writer: Andy Dick (“The Andy Dick Show”)
Starring: Andy Dick, Ben Stiller, Jack Black, James Van Der Beek, Jimmy Kimmel, Frankie Muniz, Maura Tierney, Bob Odenkirk, Mo Collins, Danny Trejo, Anthony Rapp, Kate Flannery, Kevin Farley, Bob Bancroft, Debra Wilson
You either get Andy Dick’s style of humor or you don’t. It was the same way with Tom Green. To me, personally, they are both comedic geniuses- and the odd thing about it is that MTV gave them their best moments. As many times as Dick has been stuck playing second fiddle in some sitcom (“Newsradio” aside where he was brilliant- though that is spoofed dead on here) or having a forced cameo/small part in a dopey comedy, he never got to let his true comedic chops show like he did with the absolute genius “The Andy Dick Show”. Sadly and quite unfairly, it is not available to purchase on DVD (or out on the torrent sites either), but those of you who remember it’s brief and brilliant run know what I’m talking about. I’d stack up some of his skits against anything- particularly the “orphan work camp” one and the Ben Stiller interview on Andy’s “Anus & Andy Show” in which Andy interviewed Ben with a puppet shaped like an asshole. If you haven’t seen it, you may be scratching your head, but trust me it was top notch. Andy Kaufman would have been proud. Since MTV doesn’t know a good thing when it’s got it (“The State”, “Cartoon Sushi”, “Austin Stories”, “The Tom Green Show”, I could go on and on…), the show was dropped and Dick has been forced to joining some short lived sitcoms and having roles in such flicks as Jessica Simpson’s recent dud “Blonde Ambition”. A real shame and waste, though I was happy when my buddy Keith and I stumbled across “Danny Roane: First Time Director” at Blockbuster the other day. Somehow- both of us being Andy fans- had never heard of it and it was his first foray into writing and directing a feature film (naturally, it didn’t have a theatrical debut). The movie is told in mockumentary style- a format that Dick realizes is getting old and he uses that to his advantage- it’s almost a spoof of a spoof. Dick more or less plays himself- Danny Roane- a washed up “former” alcoholic/junkie sitcom star who has decided to write and direct his first feature film and just for fun to have a documentary crew follow him around during the process. The film, which has “Dawson’s Creek” star James Van Der Beek in the Danny Roane role, is supposed to be about Roane’s rise and fall and rise up again. However, Roane begins to fall off the wagon and the film begins to turn into an oddball pro-Hitler musical (take that Mel Brooks!). In one of the film’s funniest sequences, Dick explains to his cast the changes and everyone objects except Van Der Beek who applauds the decision. Dick promptly dismisses him from the film for agreeing with him. Ben Stiller and Jack Black also turn up in hilarious cameos. Stiller as one of Roane’s former sitcom co-stars who is now a major movie star and doesn’t even remember who Roane is. The movie is in the true tradition of Dick’s sitcom and is surreal and brilliant in every way possible- that being said, if you are a fan of traditional comedy (i.e. the latest Adam Sandler/Jim Carrey schtick), you may think this is the stupidest thing you’ve ever seen. If you, however, prefer a good “Mr. Show” skit to anything on “Saturday Night Live”, then this is the movie for you.
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