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Well with Christmas just around the corner it was only a matter of time before more comedy titles found there way to our shelves, so here is part two of Universal Comedy discs round up.

Universal Comedy Part 2

Chris Addison: Live
Release: 14th November 2011
Runtime: 80 mins



Recorded at the Bloomsbury Theatre, The Thick Of It star takes to the stage with his new stand up routine. Packed with fine observations and a lot of them charming takes on the world around him, this is a fun stand up but not all that consistent on the out loud laughs. Sure a lot of his stuff is clever but clever doesn't always raise the chuckles and out of all of the stand up DVDs I've watched so far this year, Chris Addison seems more an acquired taste fit for his own audience rather than a broader stand up comedian.

Video/Audio


The transfer here is all very much like every other comedy release out there. The clean image shows off the size of the venue nicely but the font used in the intro looks very soft and makes the release look much older than a 2011 release. The simple set is well lit but it's a pretty standard affair. Audio wise, the dialogue is clear, there's not much echo to the track and the audience is never over powering (mainly due to their response being sniggers as opposed to full on laughs).

Extras


The Q&A (11:03) seems to be at the end of the gig and Addison takes questions from his audience and bounces off of what comes up. It's confident stuff and a real show of his comedic talents.

The 'Behind the Scenes' (09:19) is footage from sound checks, make up, and generally mucking about pre gig.

Universal Comedy Part 2

Russell Kane: Smokescreens & Castles Live
Released 7th November 2011
Runtime: 76 mins



Recorded in Southend, Kane comes out fast and full of energy and never really lets up. I found him quite reminiscent of Russell Brand (without the natural charm) and I have to say he totally won me over.
I'd only really seen Russell Kane on TV shows, clips shows and in small bites and I hadn't realised the constant references to his dad was his thing. I just assumed it was the lazy approach for TV, especially on the nostalgic countdown clip show affairs. Here it's a full explosion of insights into his life growing up and his racist, sort of abusive, very insensitive dad. Jokes about Essex and kicking people into the back of white vans made me laugh a whole lot more than I expected and Kane proved to be a stand up comic with a good sense of timing and a good hold on his audience (especially his mum onlooking from the balcony).

Video/Audio


With a big purple castle behind him and a purple striped t-shirt on, this is a very purple looking set up. Again this seems quite a small venue and the presentation really captures the room and once again this release looks pretty much exactly like you'd expect. The audio track is well recorded without that much echo at all (smaller venue than the last batch of releases I reviewed obviously) and the the audience are quite a large presence too in the funnier moments.

Extras


'On the Sofa with Russell's Mum' (13:03) is Christine Bleakley interviewing Russell's mum about her son and is quite amusing in places.

'Russell Looks Back At His First TV Stand Up Performance' (with optional commentary) (07:56) is another amusing addition. Apparently Kane has never watched his own stuff back and chooses to do so for this DVD. It's footage from about four years ago and all the commentary track is is Kane pinpointing his bad points and being embarrassed by his long hair, boot cut jeans and general performance.

Lastly there's an 'Audio Download' option enabling you to take the gig, pop it onto your computer and listen to it as an MP3 track.

There you go, two more comedy releases for your Christmas considerations and it's only November. This festive period gets earlier every year doesn't it.

Chris Addison: Live
Chris Addison: Live
Chris Addison: Live
Russell Kane: Smokescreens & Castles Live
Russell Kane: Smokescreens & Castles Live
Russell Kane: Smokescreens & Castles Live


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