Finding a conservative voice on HBO is like looking for a stable fiscal policy in Zimbabwe. That is until Friday night, when Dennis Miller made his triumphant return to the premium channel bandwidth, putting down a little heavyweight comedy on the conservative side of the fulcrum, which was hitherto leaning just a little to the left. Little. Like Heather McCartney, with a broken spike heel, on the top floor of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Taped at the Barclay Theater in Irvine CA just a couple weeks ago,“The Big Speech
” was timed perfectly for a victory lap in the wake of the November election:
“Democrats got their asses handed to them like somebody getting outpatient liposuction surgery. Paybacks are a Behar.”
The elation I felt watching the show, was probably how Leftists must feel after an episode of Bill Maher, only with punchlines.
The owner of the Funny Bone in Pittsburgh used to insult a comedian who had a bad set by congratulating him on a giving a “really good speech.” I’m guessing that Dennis calling his first special in four years “The Big Speech” was him signifying a lack of confidence in his comedy chops; that perhaps, his absence from the standup stage has left a void in his once visceral comedic abilities. Dennis has nothing to fear. He was on top of his game and as funny as ever. His time spent on tv and radio have done nothing to diminish his mastery of the craft.
“Not going to use those curly cue light bulbs in my house… I haven’t worked my entire adult life to have my living room lit like a fight scene in an Eastern Bloc stairwell in the Bourne Ultimatum.”
It must have felt a little weird for Dennis, being able to use the full range of language that is prohibited on his daily radio show and his Fox News appearances with Bill O’Reilly. I know that good comedy doesn’t need profanity, but sometimes it begs for it. I had seen him do the bit about Finland being the "little plastic village you put under your Christmas Tree" before, but I have to admit, it is a much funnier piece when the appropriate language is applied.
He went off on several of his trademarked rants, one of which expressed his frustration with moderate Islam:
"You see these parades in Iraq and Iran ... burning our flag, burning effigies. … You see a lot of rocket scientists in those parades? Muslims will want to go to the moon when the Jews set up Israel there."
He might be older, and he laments his age as compared to rock stars:
“Seen the Rolling Stones lately? Believe me, moss has been gathered.”
But there is a difference between aging and going stale. Dennis now has wonderful stories to tell, stories that only someone with his experience can. In the set he shares tales about dinner with Frank Sinatra, meeting Don Rickles and working with Al Michaels.
He also talks about other rock stars of his generation:
“[Michael Jackson] might still be alive if we had pushed Obamacare through a little quicker.”
Yes, he goes after the President in a way unseen on network TV, sensing a turn of public consciousness that no other network personality has attempted before:
“People are backing away from their Obama vote. You must have liberal friends who do it. Y’ever hear them talk about it? They sound like somebody who took an Ambien and woke up naked outside."
Sure he tried to pander a little to the left, talking up the few things he likes about President Obama and his support for gay marriage. However, he boldy admits the dissatisfaction many on our side share:
“I just can’t join up with the Democrats anymore, there’s too much lock-step over there.”
Dennis Miller’s The Big Speech
repeats tonight and throughout the month on HBO.