Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday with Ferrell

Will Ferrell as George W. BushAs previously mentioned on Ye Olde Blogge, this past Tuesday I ventured into the city (New York City, that is) to see Will Ferrell's one man show on Broadway, You're Welcome America. A Final Night With George W. Bush.

As the title suggests, the show is Ferrell's extended impersonation of our 43rd President. Over the course of its hour-plus running time, Ferrell gets up and presents the major events and people of the Bush administration's eight years in office, and he does so with the absurdity and hilarity that his fans have come to expect from him.

The performance is pure, unadulterated satire, but the tone of the show changes constantly. It is, at times, scathing in its condemnation of the former Commander in Chief and the policies of his administration, but then there are moments of such absurd levity that all the audience can do, no matter what one's politics may be, is...well...laugh out loud for prolonged periods of time.

I mean, it's Will Ferrell!

Over the course of the show, Ferrell ostensibly plays "dress up the former President," as he uses incredibly funny scene breaks to run backstage and get changed into different examples of Bush's attire through the years. For example, here's "Camp David W":

You're Welcome America
And "Mission Accomplished W":

Mission AccomplishedSee, it's like a George W. Bush action figure, only funnier. Anyway, back to the show. Ferrell mixes completely fictional stories of the President's youth with cringe-worthy historical moments and actual quotes to create a...well...a portrait, let's say, of the man known as W.

As for my overall take on the show, lemme just slip into my critic hat for a second and say something incredibly cliched--It's a raunchy, laugh-a-minute thrill ride. There. I've always wanted to write something that inane (and yes, I know you can argue that I write something just as inane every time I post to this blah blah blah).

But seriously folks. Here's my real take on You're Welcome. I enjoyed it. Quite a bit. I laughed almost continuously through the show, and I could have stood to watch another hour of the performance. Ferrell's comedy is always dubbed as immature and childish, and as some have noted, "all he does in his movies is take his clothes off and run around." And, while that's pretty accurate, it's always funny when he does so.

That said, Ferrell doesn't take his clothes off during this show, and he doesn't rely on physical comedy (though there is some of that) to get your laughs. Instead, the comedian shows just how politically aware he is in his satirical shots at Bush, going for both subtle jabs at real life decisions and windmill punches at hyperbolic Bush back story.

In my opinion, Ferrell really shines in the performance's last leg, when he displays how quick-witted he is with an ad-libbed interaction with audience members wherein he gives people nicknames (as Bush often did with White House staffers) based on first name and occupation.

Trust me, it's pretty hysterical.

Now, I don't want to give too much more away, because this weekend, HBO will air Ferrell's final performance, Saturday night at 9:00. If you're a Ferrell fan, this is must see television, and if you're into political comedy and you just flat out need a good laugh, then give this show a shot.

That's it for today, so Happy Friday everyone!

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