At the beginning of the 21st century, aÂ not-so-little phenomenon erupted in the comedy world when four comedians (and self-proclaimed rednecks) travelled together as a group billed as “The Blue Collar Comedy Tour.” Capitlizing onÂ the unlikelyÂ success of Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be a redneck…” bits, Bill Engvall, Larry the Cable Guy, and Ron White quickly became household names. Shortly after, Ron White filmed a fairly hilariousÂ routine aptly titled “They Call Me Tater Salad” that brought him even more notoriety as a funny and (not too deep) thought-provoking southern comedian. Half a decade later, with a few more full-length specials under his ever-widening belt, White is back on Comedy Central with an uncut 71 minute comedy special called “Behavioral Problems.” Unfortunately, White may have already peaked as a comedian, with his new special offering little to laugh at.
Constantly adjusting his highlighted hair and smirking into the audience, White rattles off painfully predictable jokes, interspersed with tales of his lifestyle as a celebrity comedian. From his marijuana bust to a rude parking attendant, White does little to endear himself to the audience, and even less to engage them in his stories. Much of his material is stilted and forced. Director C.B. Harding does his best to help White’s case by keeping the lens steady on White and only giving us brief, darkened glimpses of the audience. I hesitate to say it for fear of sounding overly critical, but I got the sneaking suspicion that midway through White’s routine a laugh track had been laid over the show in order to give the at-home audience the impression that what we’re seeing is funny – the laughs sound too rhythmic and repetitive, with nary a random outburst to be heard.
But White does have a few good one-liners: he asks the audienceÂ what it means when he only has 7/8ths of an ounce of pot and then promptly responds that that means he’s “out of pot.” There are a few other moments where White works to reclaim the comedic glory that he once held, though he’s sadly unsuccessful. White is clearly a talented performer and has provided a plethora of well-received and deserving material -Â with his two Grammy nominations, Gold record, The New York Times best seller listed book, and CD and DVD sales, it’s clear that White is no amateur. Unfortunately, “Behavioral Problems” makes him look like one.
Zach’s Rating:Â 3 (out of 10)
To purchase “Behavioral Problems”, visit Amazon