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When Standup Stood Out (2005)

Steven Wright , Denis Leary , Fran Solomita  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Steven Wright, Denis Leary, Janeane Garofalo, Colin Quinn, Bobcat Goldthwait
  • Directors: Fran Solomita
  • Producers: Douglas Miller, Chad Sahley
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • DVD Release Date: July 27, 2006
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F48D7I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,753 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "When Standup Stood Out" on IMDb

Special Features

  • A Flashback with Comedian Dane Cook
  • More original stand up from Steven Wright, Bobcat Goldthwait, Lenny Clarke, Kenny Rogerson and Don Gavin
  • "The Making of When Stand Up Stood Out" featurette
  • "Meaney on the Street" bonus footage

Editorial Reviews


"...chronicling the epic rise and fall of the country’s celebrated comedy hot spot loaded with authentic talent. -- Boston Herald

"An irreverent documentary that is a nation of objective history and personal journey, -- Improper Bostonian

"Hugely entertaining...this film captures a truly edgy, special time during Boston’s golden years of comedy -- The Boston Globe

Product Description

It's no coincidence that some of the most cutting edge comics of this generation came out of the same city, at the same time. The Boston gold rush of the late 70s and early 80s was considered by many as the flashpoint of the biggest national stand-up explosion ever. A scene boiling over with comedians possessed with that precarious blend of originality, pure desire, and good old fashioned desperation. Through a series of candid interviews, old news reports and never before seen bootleg footage, we'll get an unfiltered and hilarious view of the people who came up here and what they did to survive, emerge and where they are today.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A documentary that really stands out March 10, 2007
What some of the angry reviewers of this film don't seem to understand is that although there are quite a few clips of stand up bits, this is a documentary ABOUT stand up, not a collection of acts. And it's a brilliantly made documentary as well. When I started watching, I didn't know that it was going to be so specifically about the Boston stand up scene. I didn't even know that so many great comedians came out of Boston.

What this documentary is really about is a brief period in the late 70s - early 80s when stand up was suddenly all the rage in Boston. Suddenly comedy clubs were popping up all over town, and stand up was something that you could really make a good living at. It was fresh, original, and every act was different. Old clips from inside the clubs really showcase some funny stuff here too.

What makes this documentary so enjoyable is the obvious respect and affection that filmmaker (and Boston comedian) Fran Solomita has for every artist he interviews. He still doesn't allow his film to turn into a love fest of idolizing Boston comedians. All aspects of the movement are documented here. The initial rise, Steven Wright's first appearance on the Late Show that really set Boston ablaze, and then the downfall that occurred because of the surplus of comedians and tv channels displaying comedians... and the drugs. Can't forget the drugs.

When Stand Up Stood Out is just a really well made film about a very specific group of people in a specific area, but it alludes to the fact that stand up was exploding everywhere at this time, Boston was just the heart of it.

There are great interviews and clips from comedians you may have never heard of and many that you have. All have their own insights into the process and the business and it's all interesting.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable July 7, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As a huge fan of stand-up comedy and in particular, Stephen Wright and the always funny Denis Leary, I was very happy with my purchase of this DVD.

Great footage, great interviews, and great production quality as well.

This is a must for any comedy fan, especially those who are curious as to what it takes to make it in a very difficult business.

Mark F.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An interesting look into Boston's comedy clubs September 5, 2007
This was a good documentary on the history of two local comedy clubs in Boston. Since I am not from Boston, never been to Boston, and never will ever go to Boston, it was good for a one time viewing only.

I agree with others that the cover of the DVD is misleading. I think that they purposely designed it to look like these people are actually performing routines, as an attempt to sell more copies, nationwide. Most people are pretty self centered and could care less about local comedy in an area other than their own.

I give it two and a half stars. I thought that it would actually have some funny scenes in it and was disappointed when there was not any.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Live Through This October 25, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I read about this DVD in The Boston Phoenix and bought it immediately about five months ago. I didn't even play it for a long while after I received it from Amazon. I finally watched it this past weekend. I have to admit, in the interest of full disclosure, I once worked for WBCN-FM in Boston as a non paid producer for the Mark Parenteau afternoon drive show back when radio at least resembled the radio we grew up with. One of the jobs I did to make money doing was editing the swear words out of the stand up routine these comics did at Stitches Comedy Club, which at one time existed in the same building at The Paradise Rock Club many years ago, for Mark's daily comedy portion of his show. I also was a 1982 graduate of Emerson College and having witnessed Lauren Dombrowski, Eddie Brill, Mario Cantone, and Denis Leary and several other folks up close and personal at the Emerson Comedy Workshop my review is probably a little skewered. Particularly because I was directly involved in the scene I have to say I really enjoyed this. I met nearly every one of these comics as they came to the studio to do live comedy over the years. Most of them were very nice people. Lenny Clarke was a tremendous personality and I never stopped laughing while he was around. I didn't even really get into comedy clubs outside of Emerson until 1981 or so. Cambridge, home to The Ding Ho, seemed like another country for a college student in a major metropolitan city with no car and a $45 a week work study job so I never even set foot in the place. That was the most interesting part of the DVD for me. I didn't know Barry Crimmins found the place by blind luck and the like. I didn't know about the house with the high hang factor where everybody seem to crash. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must-see! August 29, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A candid, insider's tour of the Boston stand-up comedy scene of the early eighties. This was a uniquely crucial time and place for comedy. The Boston scene came to define stand-up for the next couple of decades. It was a raw and edgy scene from which many top talents emerged: Lenny Clarke, Dennis Leary, Steven Wright, Bobcat Goldthwait, Janeane Garofalo, and many others.These pioneers laid the groundwork for future comedians to ply their craft. And the Ding Ho was their incubator. This documentary is an excellent reflection on those days, told by Fran Solomita, one of Boston comedy's esteemed alumni.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars hella honest
great insight to a great scene, appreciated the honesty about drug use as well as the way they portryed bobcat making it
Published 3 months ago by JOHN K OBRIEN
4.0 out of 5 stars Great bit of Boston History
Interesting film tracing the arc of stand up comedy in the golden days. Great to hear the story from those involved and to see the historic footage from those days. Well done.
Published 6 months ago by Oregon Trailer
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like stand up , watch this
The movie is about small comedy clubs in Boston in the 80s and the exceptionally funny people who worked them.
Published 8 months ago by Steven Cheimets
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great documentary of the start of the Boston comedy scene in the...
Featuring Steven Wright, Tony V, Jimmy Tingle, Don Gavin, Mike McDonald, Bobcat, Lenny Clarke and many more!! Very well done!! clips of their earlier performances and interviews. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Scott M
4.0 out of 5 stars Great!
It really tells a lot about the things Stand up Comedians have to go through! Very good!! Good story! Good DVD!
Published 21 months ago by Tamara's Trinket's
5.0 out of 5 stars Born near Boston? Gotta love comedy!!!
I was born and raised just outside of Boston, where I lived for the first 20 years of my life. When I moved to Florida, I realized that the rest of the world was not at all like... Read more
Published on June 10, 2008 by Jeannette George
4.0 out of 5 stars Although it is documentary....not a comedy stand up, it's informative,...
For those specifically interested in the birth of comedy clubs throughout the Boston area, this will be of interest. Read more
Published on January 2, 2008 by  RIZZO 
1.0 out of 5 stars Not standup
Just wanted to warn everybody that this is not a stand up movie and the full "the night the standup stood up" is not there in full.
Published on February 3, 2007 by MP
2.0 out of 5 stars Comedy Scene, and Not Heard
This DVD will be a disappointment if you get it hoping to see some substantial portion of the acts of the various comics listed on the cover. Read more
Published on August 30, 2006 by R. Schultz
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Topic From this Discussion
Are these NEW comedy clips or rehashed old ones?
Since this is a video documenting the ORIGINAL Boston comedy scene, any material here would be material performed in the early days of the artists career....
I was a working comic starting out in the mid eighties; it was unbelievable- you could walk into any club and see original, cutting edge,... Read More
Aug 16, 2007 by Bob |  See all 2 posts
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