Release: January 27, 2015
Story: Comedian Bobcat Goldthwait directs his first documentary as he takes us through the life and work of American comedian and satirist Barry Crimmins. On stage, Crimmins’s discussions of politics and religion were often angry, foulmouthed but also intelligent and well-informed. His honest, outspoken nature often led to his own involvement in political events and rallies. Through his work and his ownership of two Boston comedy clubs in the 80s, Crimmins was also hugely influential in the Boston comedy scene. He inspired and helped give birth to the careers of many comedians, such as Goldthwait, Steven Wright, Paula Poundstone, Jimmy Tingle, Kevin Meaney, Tom Kenny and Marc Maron. But Crimmins’s life was fraught with drama, and not all of it was known to his even his closest of friends.
Thoughts: I knew little of Barry Crimmins before watching this documentary. What I did know came solely from a old December episode of Leonard Maltin’s podcast, where he and his then co-host, comedian Baron Vaughn, recommended Call Me Lucky. Not wanting to give anything away about Crimmins’s surprising and dramatic life, they only discussed the movie in vagueries. I’m following their lead. Crimmins’s story is funny at times but also serious, touching and full of the unexpected. I dare not say more than that for risk of ruining the surprises that lie within the film. I love documentaries about obscure subjects, and Call Me Lucky certainly doesn’t disappoint. If you’re thinking of watching this movie, which is available on Netflix, do yourself a favor, don’t look anything up about Crimmins beforehand. The documentary will be so much more rewarding if you let the story unfold before you like it did for me, Maltin, Vaughn and so many others.