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The Bitter Buddha

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  • Posted August 12, 2013

    What are you to make of a title like ¿Bitter Buddha,¿ especially

    What are you to make of a title like “Bitter Buddha,” especially if you’ve never heard of Eddie Pepitone before? It’s as good a title as any, even if it is a bit ambiguous (is he supposed to be some kind of stand-up philosopher, or is it just a fat joke?). But nothing can ever really prepare you for your first time experiencing Eddie Pepitone.
    At an age by which most show business careers would be on the decline, Eddie has risen to the top of the LA alt-comedy scene. Of course, the road to comedy superstardom hasn’t been easy (and – seeing as you probably have never heard of him – he is obviously far from being a household name). Eddie has struggled with sobriety, family issues, and failures of all sorts. His backstory alone makes him an ideal subject for a biographical documentary, and Steven Feinartz’s direction does his subject justice. What sets the Bitter Buddha apart from most documentaries is that it is relentlessly funny.
    Don’t let the much bandied about term “comic’s comic” scare you off. Eddie Pepitone’s standup is very accessible. While the title stresses Eddie’s bitterness – and indeed, there’s plenty of rage to go around in this movie – his comedy is at various turns caustic, introspective, and downright playful. The interviews with more “mainstream” comics – Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman, Zach Galifianiakis, and Marc Maron – can be very funny as well, especially when they alternate between praising Eddie and heaping abuse upon him. The more traditional documentary segments are intercut with live standup footage and animated renditions of Pepitone’s anecdotes.
    The Bitter Buddha is a documentary that will appeal to standup fans and a standup movie that will appeal to documentary fans. If you haven’t heard of Eddie Pepitone already, grab a copy of this DVD ASAP – you won’t regret it.

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