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AMERICA! HEAR MR. MOONEY! HE'S ALL Y'ALL'S DADDY,
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This review is from: Paul Mooney: Know Your History - Jesus Was Black ... So Was Cleopatra (DVD)
If this was an early sixties new vinyl record by Bill Cosby, I'd have worn it out last night. If this was a video tape, it would be shredded by now. As soon as it came in the mail yesterday I slipped it into the box
and ran it, over and over all night. It is that good. He is that bad.
Hear it. Hear it deep. Like a blues song he keeps coming back to one bass run underneath it all: "We have all gone crazy. We have to come home to Christ. It is all over." Like a proud, good, strong country preacher, like an old jazz song, Mr. Mooney returns to his hook, his chorus line to repeat: "We have all gone stone crazy. We have got to come home to Christ. It is all over." Mr. Mooney knows how to hold his audience, like a strong preacher or teacher (even though he has a lot of interesting and horrible and scary things to say about teachers here). Mr. Mooney keeps asking the audience easy questions that everyone knows the answer to, and which he too must know, as an intelligent and a wise man; but he pulls the audience in and keeps it engaged seeking his approval and recognition by asking it easy questions, such as the name of the white boy who ripped open Janet Jackson's blouse at the Superbowl. Mr. Mooney points out Justin wanted to dance black and sing black, but after exposing Ms. Jackson he quickly turned white again and blamed the victim. "I'm appalled!" This is rich, and very funny and in the middle of a great Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross and Michael Jackson DIVA bit. By the way he declares Michael innocent though "X-Files" in a strong and a reasonable way, as that man does not even take off his gloves.
Towards the climax of his preaching, Mr. Mooney turns towards the Scientologists in every way he can reach them, as revenge for South Park's silencing. He even hits the Black ones like Isaac Hayes and Forest Whitaker (really? I didn't know. There is much here which, if it is not actually true ought to be true because it's much funnier that way, including the title). He points out how the Scientologists wait for the Mothership to get them, but for some it'll be another slave ship. Then he explains like a good strong preacher why people want to jump on the brand new and latest thing, saying as his grandmother in Louisiana taught him "A new broom might sweep but the old broom knows where the dirt is." Mr. Mooney points out people felt constricted by the Ten Commandments and looked for something else that lets them "be themselves". He specifically begins with Thou shalt not kill and then counts off others: Thou shalt not covet your neighbor's wife and Thou shalt not steal. This is the climax of his speechifying as he tells us all once again Thou shalt not kill. In his long and fruitful and courageous life he has seen too many good ones go.
He has much that's really funny to say about Bush and Condaleeza and about Oprah and Martha and even Hillary, whose courage he admires. She was the only one to stand up and speak a little bit of truth in the middle of all of the madness and he loves that.
He tears Hollywood's hypocrisy apart, and the gentrification of Harlem ("North Manhattan). He gets to the heart and soul of what is sick in America, and it is so good to hear that proud strong voice from the Sixties still rolling. He sounds like a Black Pride/Black Power preacher coming to town to spread the good Word. Hear this proud Black Man. He does the cops, and the long standing profiling of Blacks: "Are you on probation or parole? Does this owner of this automobile know that you have it?" He does everyone, even the Africans. He does the Titanic and Hollywood's false heroics, and he does Denny's, to a turn. If Denny's does not want Black people, why cater to them? Just turn off the heating.
He is brilliant, and gifted and the only one left to hear. I wore this disk out like an early Cosby vinyl album, or a Pryor tape, which Mooney probably wrote. Mooney wrote most of the great comedy for thirty years now. Hear him now. He is the last great stand-up comedian still standing.
My only objection: Fire the editor. I stopped watching and just started listening, like an old comedy album, and it was better sight unseen, without all of the many cuts to the audience, all of the cuts from a camera in a girl's lap looking up at her face. They had a great camera close up to show all of his physical expressions and motions, right on the right side of his head, to catch all of his strong expressions and acting talent and large arm gestures, all of his strong physicality which tells at least half of his stories, but the editor holds us to a wide shot from the back of the room, like from the back of the bus, and I couldn't see a thing. Time for us to come down from the balcony and sit in the front row. Out of the cheap seats and into the orchestra!
And they kept cutting to girls in the crowd, over and over. Interesting the point at which the brightly blonde California no-longer-a-girl got up with her date and walked out on Mr. Mooney and his good humor, and Mr. Mooney loves it. I also could have used less interruption from Sarah Bernhardt and some guy named Shawn Ullman (Tracy's grandson? Liv's?), whom they edit RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF MR. MOONEY'S ACT, BREAKING HIS RHYTHM. Sarah's never had much of anything to say, and she says it worse than ever here, and in the middle of Mr. Mooney's finest moments. Save that for the extra material, please, elsewhere on the DVD; don't cut it into the main show, which is brilliant and must be heard clean and true! This is really funny stuff and still strong after all these years, even when he runs out of material or energy and starts reciting old jokes. Hear this man. You will be retelling those same old jokes yourself at work tomorrow. Especially the genie ones.
Hear this American Man! All America must hear this disk and be healed. What he says about the old and the new Pope is great. Being from Louisiana he has a Catholic focus, and sees all the way through it. He calls for a Black Pope if only because no one else can carry off wearing that cape and cane and jewelry. Hear this man. On the Middle East, on North Korea, on Bush's gas prices (LA gangs cannot afford to do drive bys anymore) I am forgetting so much after a long week of repeated viewing, to which it stands up well. What other comedy album since Cosby and Pryor can you play over and over again but this one?
It is brilliant and it must be heard for our own healing and peace. Peace and reconciliation. Hear this man now. Hear this man. Don't miss this show. Hear him again. He was always the most brilliant part of the Chappelle DVD's with the complete out takes from his proudly outraged steaming Ask a Black Man section, where he spoke with utmost gravity and seriousness the most truthful and absurd things together, until cracking up and you realize he was putting you on the whole time as a great dead-pan comedian with Buster Keaton's solemn face. This man is America's last and greatest living Comedian. Hear this man, today!