New this week on CD and DVD, Robert Kelly presents Just the Tip. Before we get to the review, here is a very appropriate promo provided by Kelly himself, with Comedy Central’s Anne Harris.
It’s an especially apt look at what you’re going to get on the DVD disc, which features a 43-minute documentary behind the scenes in the "making of the CD." So you see plenty of Kelly’s funny friends trash talking him and his idea to his face, including Dane Cook, Colin Quinn, Jim Norton, Keith Robinson, Al Del Bene and Jay Davis. Yes. That Jay Davis. Though the CD claims it was taped in July 2007, much of the DVD footage comes from 2006, when Kelly was fresh off of HBO’s Tourgasm and brought Davis along as his opener because of that. On the CD, most of his jokes he says he’s 36, but in the middle he sometimes says he’s 35. For further evidence, you can see my newspaper byline from the Boston Herald about Kelly’s Comedy Connection tapings at the 37:40 mark (fun fact!). Click here for unpublished parts of my interview with Kelly then (which includes predictions from Kelly about what’ll be on the disc!). Anyhow. The "making of" video succeeds in bringing the atmosphere of the Comedy Cellar table out into the daylight and everyday life, revealing that these comedians really are a brotherhood of fools. Norton provides advice on the actual recording process for his CD. Vinny Brand from the Stress Factory in New Jersey makes an appearance to let Kelly rehearse his CD set. Al Del Bene (who led Kelly and Cook in an early ’90s improv group, Al and the Monkeys) comes along for the ride. You see that his personality, and his food addictions, are very very real.
The other part of the DVD shows Kelly’s Comedy Central Presents without commercial interruption (my thoughts and video clips here). I only wish Comedy Central, which put out this record, would’ve included the full 36 minutes of footage for Kelly’s video. Oh well.
His material has become more personal, and also better. He even acknowledged this in a recent interview with my friend at Punchline Magazine, in which he said "this is just the tip of what’s going to happen and what I’m going to be able to do. So this album is kind of like that turning point in my comedy." So there’s a double meaning for the title. I like the CD, but the DVD makes it worth buying.
Here’s another reason to buy Kelly’s CD/DVD this week. If he sells 30,000 copies in the first week, you’ll get more live comedy, at the expense of Comedy Central Records, in Times Square.