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JB Smoove: That's How I Dooz It DVD Review

JB Smoove: That's How I Dooz It (2012) DVD cover art -- click to buy the DVD from Amazon.com JB Smoove: That's How I Dooz It
Special & DVD Details

Original Airdate: January 21, 2012 / Running Time: 61 Minutes (Extended & Uncensored Cut) / Rating: Not Rated

Writer/Star: JB Smoove / Director: Ryan Polito / Executive Producers: Mike Rothman, Rick Austin, JB Smoove, Rick Dorfman

1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, Dolby Stereo 2.0 (English)
Subtitles: English for Hearing Impaired; Not Closed Captioned; Extras Subtitled
DVD Release Date: April 3, 2012 / Suggested Retail Price: $16.99
Single-sided, single-layered disc (DVD-5) / Black Eco-Friendly Keepcase

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Not too long ago, an entertainer in their late forties was considered over the hill. Today, JB Smoove is one of many who can prove that wrong. The comedian turned 47 last December and his career is taking off in exciting ways. Born Jerry Brooks, Smoove began popping up in movies and television in the late 1990s.
A little more exposure came in the early 2000s with appearances in Adam Sandler's Mr. Deeds and Chris Rock's Pootie Tang. In 2003, Smoove joined the writing staff of "Saturday Night Live", where he'd also turn up in the occasional sketch. In 2007, he left "SNL" for on-camera work, getting a recurring role on Rock's "Everybody Hates Chris" and later the Fox sitcom "'Til Death."

At the same time, Smoove became an integral part of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" via Season 6's hurricane-displaced family. Though that storyline was mostly closed in the Season 7 premiere, Smoove's Leon Black stuck around and has continued to feature in just about every other episode as Larry David's unlikely housemate. The almost entirely improvised HBO series has no doubt opened doors for the funnyman, who has been getting a lot more movies lately, including roles in last year's wide releases We Bought a Zoo, Hall Pass, and The Sitter. The parts will continue in 2012, with Smoove to feature in the upcoming comedies Think Like a Man and The Dictator.

Meanwhile, Smoove has also kept busy with stand-up, including his first solo special. The hour-long JB Smoove: That's How I Dooz It premiered on Comedy Central in January and this week came to DVD.

JB Smoove crouches down to get serious in his Comedy Central stand-up special "That's How I Dooz It." Thought that shadow puppetry was child's play? JB Smoove proves otherwise by performing a three-character show for a theater of paying adults.

Those familiar with Smoove's work on "Curb" are right to expect a foul-mouthed stand-up act. That's How I Dooz It is very crude, even by the standards of uncensored Comedy Central programming. The comedian opens with an appreciation of the special's energetic theme song and soon moves to the volume and consistency of his ejaculate, which he uses his microphone cord to illustrate. From there, he moves to how police officers' heavy belts weigh them down in on-foot pursuits and how thieves should exercise to avoid breaking "ligaments" and how a man must exhibit caution in buying a perfume for their significant other.

Surprisingly, none of it is all that funny, although the audience assembled at last November's New York Comedy Festival is shown to eat it all up, from the modest, diverse crowd gathered on the floor to those resigned to standing up in the rafters. The stage at The Music Hall in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood is not the large, sterile venue you find in a typical Comedy Central special.
It looks more like a set from one of Real Steel's underground robot boxing matches.

Smoove draws the biggest laughs in his pantomime bits, which find him using his chair to represent his wife in his exhausting upright honeymoon sex or his grandmother deserving a piledriver (the wrestling move). The grand finale has him stage a version of King Kong in which we see the ape's "Johnson", represented by his swinging microphone. You can credit Smoove for an inventive use of props and for high energy as sweat covers his bald head, but not for amusing us.

This extended one-hour DVD presentation must run at least eighteen minutes longer than it did on air and it's easy to imagine an editor having no problem at all finding weaker bits to part with, like some well-intentioned but ultimately fruitless crowd interaction.

JB Smoove dons horn-rimmed glasses in "Behind the Smoove." JB Smoove dispatches questionable wisdom in "Dooz and Doozn'ts."

VIDEO and AUDIO

The DVD presents That's How I Dooz It in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture is expectedly clean, though not the most stunning, giving the illusion of a reduced frame rate. Sound is offered in basic Dolby Stereo, which fails to recreate the live performance atmosphere that stand-up specials have tended to embrace. In a nice touch not usually offered by Comedy Central, thorough English SDH subtitles are supplied.

BONUS FEATURES, MENUS, PACKAGING and DESIGN

The DVD includes two short bonus features. "Behind the Smoove" (4:36) takes us behind the scenes, as Smoove says a lot of nothing to convey his excitement and hopes for the special. "Dooz and Doozn'ts" (2:41) is a reel of short bits of terrible or stupid words of wisdom on a variety of topics.

The static menus uphold the packaging's design, while the special's theme song plays on the main screen.

In his finale, JB Smoove re-enacts scenes from "King Kong" with his swinging microphone representing the ape's heretofore unseen appendage.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

JB Smoove has shown he can be funny in the right context (i.e. bouncing off of Larry David), but on a stage by himself doesn't seem to be it. That's How I Dooz It earns the lively comedian plenty of points for effort, but few for entertainment. Whether edited and with commercials on TV or uncensored and extended here on DVD, watching this special will amount to an hour that could be much better spent.

Buy JB Smoove: That's How I Dooz It on DVD from Amazon.com

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Reviewed April 4, 2012.



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