LINK: Review

Next up was FAST DRIVER, a whole disc full of the comedy shorts of Nick Gibbons. He embraces the limited nature of his animation and makes it part of the joke, especially in the title cartoon, a spot-on parody of SPEED RACER. He must have watched a ton of this as a kid because he gets every detail right. It’s so close that it’s almost unfair to call it a parody. It’s more like he just amplified the inherent absurdity of the original by a few degrees. The Spumco influence comes through loud and clear here, too, in cartoons like “Radioactive Crotch Man” and “The Adventures of Clem and Cletus,” in which a horny dog marries the leg that he’s been humping so they can have babies. Gibbons isn’t really concerned with the subtle joke, but he’s smart enough to keep his cartoons short and the punchlines fast. “Dumbbells of Doom” made me laugh mighty hard, and his “Director’s Cut” version is a cheap joke, but a funny one. When Gibbons gets dirty, he’s shameless, but he knows how to make the infantile seem genuinely witty.

The live-action shorts on the disc are also pretty good, and there’s a sense of random anarchy to what you can expect to see. He makes vicious fun of pretentious student films in “Art Piece,” and the ending is particularly sharp. “Stall” is one joke, well told, and as with the cartoons, he knows how to get out while the audience is still laughing. It’s impossible to overemphasize how important pace is in comedy, and when you look at any episode of SNL these days, it’s hard to believe that’s a network show. There’s more dead air on an average episode of that show than there is between Nicole Richie’s ears. Gibbons pretty much nails it every time. “Score” is probably the most sophisticated thing on the whole disc, the story of a guy who has his own soundtrack. It suggests that Gibbons may be capable of something beyond the silliness. There are even some extra features on the disc including animation tests and a very funny excerpt from his live stand-up routine. Overall, this is a strong showcase for the peculiar talents of Gibbons, and you should visit him online right here.

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