Review: Hollywood, Look I’m Smiling
Hollywood, Look I’m Smiling is the first stand-up comedy record by Aries Spears, who rose to fame on the FOX series, MadTV.
During his eight-year stint on the sketch-comedy show, Spears got attention for his dead-on impressions of other celebrities such as Shaquille O’Neal, Denzel Washington, Eddie Murphy, and DMX.
Spears uses these skills throughout his set. Unlike other impersonation comedians, Spears goes beyond other recognizable names. Although his bit about Arnold Schwarzenegger seems outdated in 2011, Spears put in the effort to perfect more general accents.
Two tracks that exemplify this have hilariously terse names: “Africa” and “Italians.” On these bits, Spears uses his accents to drive home his overall points. On “Italians,” he discusses the habit of his Italian friends softening verbal jabs with the phrase “With all due respect.” On “Africa,” he talks about African immigrants disliking black Americans and the differences between how Americans and Africans treat their women.
Legendary comedian Paul Mooney is another celebrity Spears put in his impersonation crosshairs. On the track “Blacks in Hollywood,” Spears recalls trying to get Mooney hired as a writer on MadTV with a hilarious backfire ending. This is a must-listen for anybody who’s a fan of Spears, Mooney, or MadTV. This track is also a good window into the culture of Hollywood and, possibly, show business in general.
Spears doesn’t rely solely on his impressions, though. He waxes about several topics such as Canada, horror movies, gladiator movies, gay people, and Barack Obama. Spears publically thanks all the white people who elected Obama and explains his theory as to why, “He (Obama) was the right shade… Y’all know if he was Bernie Mac Black or Precious Purple, he wouldn’t have won.”
All comedy fans will find something to enjoy about Hollywood, Look I’m Smiling but especially fans of Spears. For a debut album, this is incredibly polished, mostly because of Spears’ previous experience. Time will tell how long Spears will pursue stand-up comedy but if he does, he’s got a great foundation.
Spears performs for the Capone’s Comedy Smash at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall. He will be featured alongside Earthquake, Luenell, and local comedians Cameo Lawrence and Pepper.
Jeremy Castillo is a comedian,writer, and all around hilarious guy! Keep up with him on twitter (@JeremyCaStillOh) or facebook, (https://www.facebook.com/jeremy.castillo) and check comedyhawaii.com for more of Jeremy’s great reviews