But ultimately this production is less about the legacy of George W. Bush than it is about the comic persona that has been perfected by Will Ferrell. "You're Welcome America" is a lot like Mr. Ferrell's more middling movies, not quite on a level with "Blades of Glory" or "Talladega Nights." Sometimes it's really funny, and sometimes it sort of sags. I laughed, I yawned.
Um... Blades of Glory, really? No. Nothing with Jon Heder has ever been, or will ever be, funny. Even that Napoleon thing. Never.
Granted, the generally lowbrow humor of "You're Welcome America. A Final Night with George W. Bush" is hardly cutting-edge political satire. Basically a (nearly) solo extended sketch, it's theatrical comfort food for Broadway audiences who want to see one of their favorite comic actors live.
You're Welcome America offers fresh ammunition to those who would cast Bush's detractors as petty, snooty and redundant. ... The highlight of You're Welcome America arrives toward the end, when Ferrell invites audience members to tell him their occupations so that he can give them nicknames, as Bush did his colleagues. At a recent preview, one brave man who identified himself as a critic was dubbed "Obsolete Professional." Fair enough. But for what this obsolete professional's opinion is worth, Ferrell's mission ought to have been aborted.
The stage is mostly bare, with just a few props and video screens where images of places, faces and ruder body parts help set the scene. If some sequences run out of steam, another laugh is looming just around the bend. Ferrell has Dubya down pat - the stance, butthead chuckle, constant squint and tumbleweed twang, which sparks one of the show's best jokes.
The "ruder body part" referred to there is apparently a picture of a penis.
So it sounds like the show is a good time, if not a bit of a retread of material previously seen on Saturday Night Live. Unlike that show, however, tickets to You're Welcome America are seriously expensive. I kinda feel like I have to see it live, but will more than likely just watch the live broadcast on HBO in March.