Welcome to Spit Take Saturday, courtesy of Brown Paper Tickets’ Comedy Doer Julie Seabaugh and her professional comedy criticism site The Spit Take. Julie’s goal with the site is to “elevate the public perception of stand-up comedy to that of a legitimate art form, and to enable comedy criticism be taken as seriously as that of theater, film, music, food, even video games. No a**-kissing. No bias. No mercy. Just honest, unfiltered, long-form reviews written by professional, knowledgeable comedy critics.”
Every week Julie will select an entry from the site to be included on our blog and hand-pick some related events happening that week that she feels all you comedy lovers out there will appreciate.
So, without further ado, let us introduce you to this week’s Spit Take Saturday!
There’s an implication throughout “The Bitter Buddha” that comedian Eddie Pepitone, the subject of this documentary, is, well, bitter. Bitter that after a stand-up career that spans decades, he hasn’t achieved mainstream appeal or sold a TV show Seinfeld-style. That even though he’s beloved by modern comedy deities like Patton Oswalt and Sarah Silverman, it’s somehow not enough. Director Steven Feinartz begins his film with the assumption that in the five stages of grief – lamenting the loss of theoretical lucrativeness – Pepitone is stuck on “anger.”
Yet despite this narrative thread, “The Bitter Buddha” paints Pepitone as having completed these five stages. Lack of popularity is no longer an albatross around his neck. In fact, Pepitone has the uncanny ability to see the albatross around everyone’s neck, and talk them into taking it off. Pepitone is on “acceptance,” and laughing about it.