“I don’t want to frighten you, but if you’re too fat the angels won’t be able to carry you to Heaven.”
John Pinette: Still Hungry is the latest of the comedian’s stand-up specials that aired on Comedy Central. He has a very devoted fan base that flock to hear him discuss mostly food-related thoughts. “Get out of the line” and “You go now” are two of his more popular routines. His struggles this time center around trips to Bed Bath & Beyond and the electronics store, and he grumbles about the gift of a Panini maker.
Pinette is an accomplished actor and singer, in fact he starred on Broadway as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. His stage presence translates well to his stand-up specials, as he understands how to use his body and the space he’s occupying. Luckily, Pinette reins in his tendency to scream everything, so Still Hungry avoids becoming a Sam Kinison-type spectacle.
On the whole, Pinette’s material is pretty clean with a tendency towards self-deprecation at just the right time, which I always admire. It’s not just about what he says, it’s often what facial expression he makes or body movement he employs to punctuate the laugh that keeps it engaging. If you’re a fan of John’s previous work, you might bemoan the lack of old bits in this set, but he still has plenty of funny to offer, including one about his travels in Scotland.
In terms of presentation, there’s a slight bit of haloing on this 1.78:1 standard def transfer, but it’s only noticeable when John moves too fast, which doesn’t happen all that much. Otherwise, it’s typical of a television special, nothing better than the original broadcast. The levels lean toward black, but Pinette never disappears and the stage is lit well enough to provide a decent amount of contrast. The Dolby 2.0 audio is mixed well, and two channels are all you need. I didn’t miss a single joke.
The special features include a short group of featurettes that range from a tour of Chicago, to show prep and a behind-the-scenes look at one of his photo-shoots. It’s here that you really get to see how much Pinette is adored by his fans.
John Pinette: Still Hungry is worth a stream at least, as I rarely turn down the opportunity to laugh.