Patriot Act: A Jeffrey Ross Home Movie
This is sweet and surprising. Sweet because all the participating comedians really do seem to have answered the USO's call to entertain troops in Iraq for all the right reasons. Sweet also because it shows a softer side of foul-mouthed comic Jeffrey Ross, who, on the topic of Friars Club Roast “honoree” Rob Reiner's ex-wife, famously informed, right to the Meathead's face: “I wouldn't fuck Penny Marshall with Penny Marshall's dick.” Which leads right into the surprises. Drew Carey was the ringleader of this band of funny men (and Kathy Kinney, who played Mimi on his popular ABC sitcom). Carey has a rep in lefty circles for being something of a right-wing nutbar, given his support for Bushes and Doles and Cheneys and whatnot (and a rep in circles of all political and non-political shades for being a porn freak, but that's neither here nor hair). In this doc, captured mostly on Ross' hand-held video camera (you get the feeling he got some help), Carey comes off like the regular schmo you figured he was before someone told you he's a porn-obsessed, right-wing nutbar. Indeed, he peppers his comments onstage and off with jabs, gentle mostly, at the military (from which he and his flattop sprang) and the predicament our boys and girls find themselves mired in. As for Ross, he's much funnier offstage than on. In fact, another surprise is his re-hashing of his moldiest material, like “I Miss Her Sometimes,” a poem about missing his girl, then backing up his car over her because, “I miss her sometimes.” Didn't Ross see the Jerry Seinfeld documentary about completely re-doing one's act? More to the point: Don't our troops deserve better? As thousands of dead Iraqis can attest, they DON'T miss most times. Guess it could've been worse; he could have said he wouldn't fuck Gen. Tommy Franks with Gen. Tommy Franks' dick.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.