I heard a lot about Bobcat Goldthwait’s documentary Call Me Lucky on the various comedy podcasts I listen to but I never really knew about the comedian and political activist Barry Crimmins.
After watching Call Me Lucky last night (and revisiting a few parts this morning) I was left with the feeling that it’s a sad, but beautiful, film and story.
It starts with Crimmins’ childhood friends and family as well as comedians he worked with talking about their memories of him to show his character and build up to telling the story of his life.
Goldthwait is one of Crimmins’ comedic colleagues and friends and appears some in the film and interviews the cast.
Marc Maron, David Cross and Patton Oswalt all make appearances as well as comedians Crimmins worked with when he helped start the comedy scene in Boston.
His friends and colleagues always thought there was a bit of anger in Crimmins and eventually learned its source when he shared his story of surviving childhood sexual abuse during a monologue in 1992.
The story wasn’t planned, it just happened when he told it on stage.
Crimmins was already an advocate in the political and social world before he told his story and only built on that advocacy and his power once it was public.
He did so by trying to help other children and focused on child pornography crimes and distribution just as the Internet was starting up.
I don’t want to tell the whole story because the documentary builds in a way that it’s not immediately apparent how much power and influence Crimmins has had in his life and changes he has made, big and small.
The film revisits a lot of demons but also sheds light on a man who was seemingly born a comedian and as a person who would do good in his life and make people smile no matter what.
Crimmins said it himself in the film, “I’m here, I made it. Call me lucky.”
Stars: 3 out of 4