(Various / DVD / NR / 2007 / Imaginasian)
Overview: ImaginAsian TV’s original series "Comedy Zen" features a multiethnic roster of the country’s brightest and hysterical stand-up acts.
DVD Verdict: The stand-up comics featured in the first season of ImaginAsian's new comedy showcase "Comedy Zen" may not have what they need for instant success, but they are all interesting enough to keep you watching for at least two-thirds of this DVD! Some of them are up-and-comers, young comics who haven't yet found that comfortability factor working the crowd, whereas the rest are experienced but uninspired club regulars who have found a comfort zone working mediocre, predictable material.
"Comedy Zen" aims to be the ImaginAsian TV cable network's version of BET's "Comic View" - a celebration of minority voices in stand-up . As you can likely guess, "Comedy Zen" focuses on Asian comics, although the occasional outsider slips in to help pad the evening.
The problem here, however, is that every comic seems obliged to make race the key focus of their act, but none of them seem able (or just willing?) to go beyond the conventional commentary. Which leads to redundancy: there are only so many "people sure think we can't drive" jokes one can hear without growing bored. When the comics aim at seriousness, they never go beyond a safe zone of applause-bait moralizing. What's on display here suggests these many of comics have settled for using their racial status as an easy-in with club audiences, and feel like that's enough. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) and comes with the Special Feature of:
Previews and Promos for the ImaginAsian Network