Ben Bailey: Road Rage & Accidental Ornithology

Ben Bailey: Road Rage & Accidental Ornithology

On DVD: 
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Running Time: 
60 Minutes

Ben Bailey spent five years driving a livery cab before switching to comedy. ~IMDB

If your familiar with Cash Cab you’ll instantly recognize Ben Bailey in his stand up Road Rage…And Accidental Ornithology. Ben covers his broken relationship with Google, his house in the woods, and, of course, road rage. This is his first live one hour comedy special and boy does it feel like.

Now I’ve suffered through stand up acts before and seen the hit and miss scenario’s play out. Craig Ferguson’s recent stand up was slow going but turned out fine while Russell Brand’s Live In New York was a show that left me with just a handful of smirks but no real laughs. Bailey’s Road Rage is the latter. Bailey seems completely uncomfortable, his voice slips into this unconfident half drunken Nathan Lane impression, and despite the laughter from the audience I could find maybe two or three instances where I actually found Bailey’s stand up to be even remotely funny. His opening joke about messing up on a job application seems like a nervous train wreck that translates the punch line into an awkward less funny joke then it should have been. It could have been good but, again, Bailey simply seems uncomfortable which is surprising seeing as how in the bonus feature Cash Cab Blues Bailey states that he's been performing stand up for years.

When you see a stand up that’s really got the room rolling its usually because they have the presence to work the crowd. John Pinette uses food in contrast with his size to work the audience, Joe Rogan takes the fact that mostly guys come to his shows and talks about stuff like porn and women and beer, even Russell Brand knows that the majority of fans in the crowd are women and flaunts himself (without much humor) across the stage. Bailey goes off on jokes about birds and their many stages of flight. Seriously? Not only do these jokes fall flat but just when you think their over he over extends the joke to go way beyond its already expired punch line. The whole thing was simply awkward making it hard to enjoy. Hopefully Bailey can get over whatever stage fright he had in this performance and bring us something better the next time around.

Special features include an outtake on Somebody Say Hoo, a joke that had some redeeming quality during the stand up but all together didn’t work because of Bailey’s poor delivery making it all together predictable. Photo Shoot. The Big Walk (which I don’t think really qualified at all as a bonus feature that should have been added. Lactose Intolerance was actually a funny bit that would have aided his stand up had he performed it on stage. Finally Cash Cab Blues which shows off Bailey’s knack for playing the blue guitar and singing the blues. This bonus feature was amusing and worth checking out.

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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