Neil Hamburger: The World's Funnyman

If Neil Hamburger had any fans, hordes of them would love this excellent DVD. While it’s actually a fact that Hamburger does have a cult following, the self-effacing comedian would likely argue this point. Somehow graduating from "America’s Funnyman” to The World’s Funnyman, Hamburger has gotten pretty far with his crass, awkward act and it’s documented extensively here. The feature presentation is a lo-fi concert film shot in Sydney, Australia, entitled That’s Not Gold, That’s Dung! Hamburger’s bronchial Rat-Pack-gone-awry shtick and his astoundingly surreal, offensive jokes about Madonna, Paris Hilton, Courtney Love and Michael Jackson go over like gangbusters, as they should — considering how easy the targets are, Hamburger’s jokes are often really fucking funny. But then, Hamburger had an unfair advantage that night. As the documentary Neil Hamburger in Australia insinuates, Hamburger is inexplicably a beloved figure in some circles of the land down under. There’s really no evidence as to why other than the fact that Hamburger may have toured the entire continent. The most insightful piece here is a Canadian made-for-TV documentary, America’s Funnyman, which features interviews with Hamburger inside the bowels of Toronto’s El Mocambo and performance clips from a show there in the fall of 2004. Complete with the infamous Left for Dead in Malaysias short and a video for "Seven Elevens,” The World’s Funnyman truly is a Neil Hamburger buffet, serving as an excellent primer for curious onlookers and a must-have for casual fans. Plus: Trailer, FBI Warning. (Drag City)