Sunday, December 30, 2012

We Don't Die, We Multiply: The Robin Harris Story (2006)

Director: Topper Carew

Starring: Robin Harris, Cedric the Entertainer, Reginald Hudlin, D.L. Hughley, Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac, Darryl Sivad, Joe Torry, Robert Townsend

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The Definitive movie about the genius who inspired today's best comics.

Plot: Robin Harris is arguably the original king of comedy, as we know it today. His delivery, style, stage presence and unabashed sense of comedy has touched every African-American comic to debut after him. Enjoy the comedic genius that was taken from us far too soon in "We Don’t Die, We Multiply – The Robin Harris Story," as Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac, Cedric the Entertainer and other comedic greats give credit to Robin Harris for being the visionary that influenced their careers. 

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Nah, I'll just slap in Harris' stand-up instead.

Around the time BEBE'S KIDS (1992) came out I had already seen some of Harris' stand-up and I love, LOVE, LOVED it!  He was one of those cats that could get me laughing so hard I'd get tears in my eyes.  I went to see BEBE'S KIDS in the theater and cried all over again.  That was 1992 and I was 24.  His stand-up still slays me and I was so anxious to see this documentary.  Now that I've seen it, I'm not so sure.  It's not that bad but it feels like it missed the boat somewhere and I don't know where.  It's just a feeling.

The best parts are getting to see some of his routines in various clubs, often with some dodgy video.  Those bits were great.  What was missing were clips of Harris in archival interviews.  I wanted to hear him talk about whatever instead of everyone who survived him.  The DVD extras tease you with more stand-up but it's nothing more than the same clips in the doc but strung together.  What a disappointment.  You're better off reading his Wikipedia page and watching his stand up routines on YouTube.  That's a lot more satisfying.

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