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Kevin James: Sweat the Small Stuff (2001) – DVD Review

Kevin James: Sweat the Small Stuff DVD


Written by and Starring: Kevin James
Directed by: Paul Miller


  • Kevin James appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
  • Comedy Central Quickies

Released by: Comedy Central
Region: NR (some strong language)
Rating: NR (some strong language)
Anamorphic: 1

My Advice: Rent it

Kevin James got his start as a stand-up comedian, but now he has his own sitcom called The King of Queens. As a comedian, he’s quite a funny guy. His “Greeting Card Ballet,” for example, kept me in stitches; his stuff is really quite original. However, one thing occurred to me in watching his show: stand-up comedy ain’t what it used to be. Today, most comedians–James included–focus on the little annoying things in life to make a routine. These little annoyances might get them a good forty-five seconds to a minute-and-a-half if they are lucky, and then they’ve got to move on to another annoying thing. Put together an hour of this stuff, learn to deal with hecklers, and hope to God you have timing, and you can be a stand-up comedian.

[ad#longpost]I don’t want you to get the wrong idea; Kevin James is funny. He does have some great moments on this disc that will have you gasping for air between your gut laughs, but in an hour long routine, there are only three of these moments at best. I’m sure he’s done better performances, stand-up and otherwise, than this before. It’s just a shame that this is put on his first DVD. Not only that, but they didn’t edit out the bits when they broke for commercials. So, not only is the comedy random, it’s also broken up even further by the Comedy Central intros and outros.

Speaking of the DVD, all you really get is the primary material. At least they tried to put something together in the way of bonus material, and they get a little bit of pointage for that. The main bonus material consists of two of James’ appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I’ve never found The Daily Show to be as funny as most; the guests come on and riff with Stewart about something completely stupid, they improvise a couple of little comedic moments, promote whatever they are there to promote, and they are gone. You get two of these. The only other special features are the Comedy Central Quickies, or “Let’s Ride the Coattails”. There are two little moments from Comedy Central shows that feature another stand-up comedian and Colin Quinn’s new show called “Tough Crowd”, which is kind of a rip-off of Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. A bunch of comedians sitting around making fun of something serious that’s going on in “the real world”.

Bottom line is: if you like stand-up comedy, you won’t be disappointed if you rent it. I just don’t think it’s worth adding to your collection.