Day: October 21, 2009

Upon Further Review: Terry Fator, Live From Las Vegas (and on DVD)

All of this talk about ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and his new Comedy Central series got me thinking about another man and his puppets. Particularly since his DVD was staring at me from behind my laptop. It's time to take a look at Terry Fator, 2007 million-dollar winner of NBC's America's Got Talent and star of the recent DVD, Terry Fator: Live From Las Vegas. Like Dunham, Fator has toiled for many years at his craft. Unlike Dunham, though, Fator was barely hanging on for a while, there; even though the latter was more than just a ventriloquist, combining that craft with the ability to sing and perform celebrity impersonations. As he told the audience at The Mirage, "It took me 26 years to get here, and I'm glad to be here. Finally." For years, he was in the background at your county fair. Now, after America's Got Talent, he had signed a five-year, $100 million deal with The Mirage resort and casino, working five nights a week for 48 weeks a year. Here's a teaser for the DVD: The opening scenes before his 70-minute set show Fator trying to gather up his puppet friends, who are cavorting in "real-life" situations around the resort. The show itself reveals just how ready Fator was to be a Vegas headliner. He opens with his version of "At Last" by his puppet Emma. There's...

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What’s a Metro Jethro? Jon Reep is glad you asked! (DVD/CD review)

Jon Reep is a self-described "Metro Jethro." It's his term for a rural Southern boy who finds himself living in the big city. People know he's from Hickory, N.C., because he has said it more than once or a billion times before, during and after winning Last Comic Standing. His hometown buddies call him Hollywood because he lives in Los Angeles, but even after eight years in L.A., people there call him a redneck. As he describes in this new promo video, he's actually both. Hence, ergo, the title of his new comedy CD and DVD, Metro Jethro: Within the first minute onstage in Charlotte for Metro Jethro, Reep is doing a sort-of Puppetry of the Paunch to show us his "bagel." Reep is no simple redneck, though, because, well, do rednecks work out at the gym? He does, or at least has been around a locker room or two enough to have developed some specific rules for acceptable male nudity. To him, it's not so much about your sexual orientation as it is "your sexual approximation — to my face. Keep your deal out of my grill!" Never mind the Carolina accent. Reep's act, at least in this hour, is really more about any small town in America. Here is a clip in which he begins to lay out his comedic thesis: Did your high school football coach...

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