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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

In Defense Of Caliendo    

This is a slight diversion, thematically, but I've gotta say it.

Frank Caliendo's impressions are really, really good.

You heard me, Coltrane. I speak the truth that everyone else is afraid to hear!!! I laugh at his impressions. I thought the bumpers that aired during the LDS and NLCS series could have been better, but the impressions are wild.

Watch his Barkley/Walton/Albert impressions and tell me that doesn't come from talent.

I will grant that where Caliendo really leaves himself open to criticism is the schticky, uncreative way he goes about his business. His impressions don't involve memorable, hilarious lines; there isn't anything in there to laugh at besides the uncanniness of the impression. And he falls back on juxtaposition jokes, letting one voice (say, Madden) set up another (Bush). It's like a mashup remix... how a DJ (say, Danger Mouse) will remix a Jay-Z song with a Beatles song, and that odd juxtaposition is the main selling point. Same thing.

So yeah, once you get into the question of whether he's a comedian who says things funny or a comedian who says funny things, Caliendo loses big-time. But you can't say his work isn't impressive, so to speak. It may be a lot like giving Gallagher credit for knowing how to smash a watermelon, but at least Caliendo's got a respectable act. Which is more than we can say for Dane "THERE IS ONLY ONE TESTICLE IN MY SACK-TOBER" Cook.

(I'll also point out that certain readers of this blog find the Coors Light press conference commercials funny. Come on. Oh, whoops, I mean COME ON!!!)

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  • Agreed wholeheartedly, though that of course doesn't mean that the impressions themselves never fall flat, because of course he misses that way at times too (and I've only seen the previews for his show and the clip you just posted). But if he was on a good sketch-comedy show with good writing that was just looking for an extra guy to do the impressions, he would be perfect.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 12:01 PM  

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