If you’re as fond of Harland Williams’ stand-up comedy as I am, then we’ve got a treat ready for you to help kick off the new year in style. Welcome to 2013, folks, and welcome to “Harland Williams: A Force of Nature”, a copy of which the folks out at Image Entertainment sent over for us to review. This one won’t be available until January 15, so we’ve got a ways to go before you can get this one. Will it be worth the wait?
“Harland Williams: A Force of Nature” takes us out to the Mojave Desert. There’s no one else there but Harland, but he’s going to be telling jokes anyway. Lots of them, for the better part of an hour. He’ll cover a wide variety of topics in his run, and he’s going to do it in a fashion so thoroughly impressive and unique that it has, to the best of my recollection, never been seen before.
What’s really amazing, and really disturbing, about “Harland Williams: A Force of Nature” is that there is no audience. Ever hear how it’s difficult to write when no one’s reading? How it’s difficult to do anything artistic when you think no one’s going to ever see it but you? This is what Williams has VOLUNTARILY walked into. He is in the middle of the Mojave Desert, which is is not a population dense environment. Most of Williams’ audience for “Harland Williams: A Force of Nature” is what looks like a rather large turtle. There’s nobody laughing. No footage of people applauding. No stage other than what looks like the top of a mesa, and the complete absence of even walls. This has never been done before.
While the jokes here are somewhat hit or miss–he’s going to spend the better part of a minute shouting angrily at an errant crow that wandered into frame, and the crow will make appearances throughout–and some of them might actually make you wonder if he’s finally lost it for good, there’s no denying that this is a wholly unique affair.
Your total enjoyment of “Harland Williams: A Force of Nature” will depend largely on your tolerance for weird. Because this one is going to be weird even for Harland Williams. Sure, this is the same guy who occasionally got upstaged by a chimp in “Rocketman” and the same guy who managed to briefly play straight man to Tom Green in “Freddy Got Fingered”, but this one’s going to break new ground in terms of sheer aggressive weird.
As for extra features, there won’t be much–given that the feature itself runs just 54 minutes this isn’t much of a surprise–but you’ll get a setlist showing the various jokes in the special as well as, oddly, an interview with nature. The interview is comprised largely of clips from the special itself, except this time delivered out in the woods.
“Harland Williams: A Force of Nature” may be a little on the weird side–okay, it’s sufficiently on the weird side that it bought a condo and is already looking for work–but it’s still going to be so thoroughly and undeniably unique that it will be hard to pass up. It’s worth checking out for that reason alone. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s also pretty funny.