Bigger and Blackerer was taped during two shows, back-to-back on the same evening at Boston s Wilbur Theatre. As you may have surmised from the packaging, this title applies to both a CD and a DVD. These are separate releases in separate formats with the same name. Some of the material contained on the Bigger and Blackerer DVD, directed by Lance Bangs, will air as a television special on the cable channel Epix on April 10th. And, yes, there is some overlap between the CD and the DVD, but not a lot. Though both media are housed on a shiny, silver five-inch disc, each is an entity unto itself, full of material that appears solely on one or the other. Only by watching the DVD will you learn of Cross unique relationship with the deaf community, share his canny insights into the editorial machinations behind the Bible, and marvel at how well a bald, middle-aged white guy can fill out a pair of jeans. Yet one must listen to the CD in order to hear about gastro-intestinal misadventures with his dog Ollie Red Sox, or sing along with The Sultan s Revenge, the swinging, Vegas-style opening number composed by Cross and his good friend Mark Rivers (author of the theme to Mr. Show).
David Cross's first comedy special in six years comes under the heading of "preaching to the choir." If you are a Tea Partier in good standing, a Mormon, or a Scientologist, or count yourself as religious, then you may not be amused by Cross's left(ist) jabs at all you likely hold sacred. Speaking of the Devil, he states, "I can't be Catholic because I don't believe in monsters." He also wonders just how humble a carpenter Jesus was if he truly believed he was the Son of God. Also coming in for Cross's contempt is the hippie ethos as exemplified by a product line called If You Care (it's real; I googled it). Not for Cross traditional punch-line fare (although there are some airplane jokes) or the usual mainstream movie and TV references. His interest is more piqued by an adult film titled "My Ass Is Haunted" (also real; I googled it). Cross, who ranks in the alt.-com pantheon, took some flak for starring in the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies. Beyond that upstate New York cottage Cross was able to purchase, if those paydays further allowed him to return to the standup stage, let's hope he's signed on for Alvin 3: The Squeaksome. The bonus features are bits that aren't necessarily his "A" material, but there is an inspired smackdown of bloggers courtesy of an audience plant who is "liveblogging" the show, and a surprising defense of Dane Cook. Happily, not all his targets are that easy. --Donald Liebenson