Given his box office success with **Wedding Crashers** in 2005, Vince Vaughn sought to understand his connection with comedy. After touching base with his long time friend Peter (little Ralphie in **A Christmas Story**) Billingsley, Vince Vaughn conceived the idea of launching **Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show.** Taking six up and coming comedians, Vaughn and Billingsley plotted a road trip from Hollywood to the Heartland. Essentially a road trip documentary, **Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show** tells the grueling story of a band of brothers who spent thirty days and thirty nights trying to make strangers laugh.
Inspired by **Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show,** Vince Vaughn makes an entrance and spoofs himself as a Hollywood celebrity and recreates some of his movie bits for the live audience. He gracefully leaves the stage and let's his comedians share the spotlight.
Ahmed Ahmed is the Arab American with a funny take on the war on terrorism. John Caparulo is a hick from the sticks with a funny sounding voice. Big Bret Ernst is a big sweaty Italian whose Mom lives in Boca Raton. Sebastian Maniscalco is a germaphobic waiter who moonlights as a stand up comedian. On stage, these four men share is hilarious.
Off stage, the audience sees four men who are suffering. After putting a heckler in his place, John Caparulo states how bad the heckler made his feel. Unlike New England Patriots's coach Bill Belicheck, Vince Vaughn provides the guidance of a paternal coach to the distraught Caparulo. Ahmed Ahmed admits to being detained at an airport because of his Middle Eastern appearance. The common thread of all these comedians is how tears and fears generate laughter.
This point is made during a concert in Birmingham, Alabama. After twenty days on the road and feeling burned out, the sleep deprived comedians try to promote their concert at a trailer park. The jaded jokers realize that many of these people are refugees from Hurricane Katrina.
A benefit concert is created instead and the four comedians provide a family friendly performance. The backstage comedy of this concert features John Caparulo's attempt NOT to use profanity in his act. The stars shine on Alabama during this poignant sequence.
The tour of the heartland contradicts the stereotypes generated by Hollywood. Country Western icons like the late Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakum add to the atmosphere of showmanship and laughter. The musical score is upbeat and features music appropriate for each town.
At 100 minutes,**Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show** is just long enough for a comedy feature. Yet as a documentary, **Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show** feels like a good old fashioned American epic that celebrates life, liberty and free speech.