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Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights—Hollywood to the Heartland

Vince Vaughn, Justin Long, Ahmed Ahmed, Peter Billingsley

Directed by Ari Sandel
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3
Community: star rating
5 3 0
February 7, 2008

It's a mouthful of a title for a rowdy, ramshackle funfest that flies by on its spirited humor and surprising heart. Back in 2005, Vince Vaughn mounted a comedy tour through what left-and-right coasters condescendingly call the flyover states. His friend Ahmed Ahmed, a standup comic of Egyptian descent, had introduced him to the acts of three friends at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. They are John Caparulo, Bret Ernst, and Sebastian Manisalco. Vaughn had the idea that he and his fab four would hop on a bus, do thirty backbreaking shows in thirty cities — no days off — and bring a little cheer to the folks (some victims of hurricanes in Louisiana and Texas) before Vaughn had to go back to work in the Hollywood laugh factory. OK, the laughs are hit and miss. But this movie, directed by Ari Sandel, gets funnier as it goes along. And there's a reason: we get to know each of the comics better and see how they draw their routines from their lives, sometimes under tragic circumstances. Megatalent Vaughn is also the ultimate good sport, daring a duet with Dwight Yoakum, taking major shit from his Swingers costar Jon Favreau, and enduring Justin Long, whose Vaughn impression is spot-on to the point of slander. The documentary was edited from 600 hours of footage and there's barely a slick minute in it. The laughs feel loose-limbed, off-the-cuff and defiantly un-Hollywood. What are you waiting for?

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