Eddie Griffin proves once more that he’s one of the world’s premiere comedic talents in his brand-new stand-up special You Can Tell ‘Em I Said It. Eddie unapologetically rips into everything from racial stereotypes to Viagra to the First Lady and will leave you gasping for air as he buzzes around the stage and literally climbs the walls. This uncut, uncensored stand-up special live from Oakland, California will keep you laughing long after he exits the stage and coming back to watch it again and again.
Kicking off with an unprintable salute to Michelle Obama, Eddie Griffin's first standup special since 2008's Freedom of Speech
is a hysterical--if decidedly uneven--salute to speaking one's mind. Roaming the stage with a cigarette and a mysteriously refilling glass of champagne, the loose-limbed comedian leads a receptive Oakland audience through an increasingly filthy series of ruminations on religion, sex, Tiger Woods, and childrearing, to name just a few of the topics swiftly built up and detonated, with the assist of a hilariously merciless selection of video stills. As agreeable a stage presence as Griffin is, however, not all of his material here shines, with some of the most outrageous tangents feeling a bit too calculated to be truly shocking. Things pick up mightily in the second half, however, as the comedian delves into his personal experiences, including a bit about a recent arrest for driving under the influence on Hollywood Boulevard that approaches Richard Pryor's gift for fearlessly confessional comedy. The number of whiffs on display may keep this out of the upper tier of standup specials, but hang in there: once Griffin gets in the zone, he just kills. --Andrew Wright