Tired of funny, distinctive stand-up comedians who spend years developing their own unique sensibilities, rather than delivering the same cornball routines rooted in regressive gender stereotypes, crowd-pandering, and gratuitous profanity? Then check out Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Tour, an eyesore of a vanity project that combines the visual magic of shitty, low-budget digital video with the intellectual excitement of watching meatheads who don't seem to realize that being considered the funniest guy in their fraternity isn't an instant ticket to stand-up riches and show-business fame.
The torturously titled Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights—Hollywood To The Heartland follows Vince Vaughn (towering patron saint of Maxim readers and Axe-users everywhere) and four handpicked hacks as they travel the country in a bus. There's Sebastian Maniscalco and Bret Ernst, two testosterone-heavy jocks who look like they probably beat up the smart, funny, weird kids in high school. John Caparulo appears to be biding his time until he's cast as Larry The Cable Guy's kid brother in a sitcom or movie; he's already appeared in something called Blue Collar Comedy: The Next Generation. And Ahmed Ahmed proves that Arab comedians can be every bit as mediocre and forgettable as their Anglo peers, though he emerges as the standout joke-slinger pretty much by default.
At least the comedians showcased here are consistent: They're as unfunny offstage as on. Wild West Show is front-loaded with Vaughn material, opening up with a slew of sketches featuring his famous and semi-famous friends (Jon Favreau, Justin Long, Peter Billingsley, Keir O'Donnell) that are more self-indulgent than funny, unless of course you're a single gal loopy off cosmos during girl's night out, and you're nursing a serious crush on the master of ceremonies. Wild West improves slightly as it progresses and delves into the personal histories and professional struggles of its comedians, but it's telling that the filmmakers have so little faith in those comedians that they fracture their routines into bite-sized, decontextualized nuggets of unfunniness. West is heavy on Vaughn, at least initially, but woefully short on comedy.