Call Me Lucky

Synopsis: Barry Crimmins is pissed. His hellfire brand of comedy has rained verbal lightning bolts on American audiences and politicians for decades, yet you've probably never heard of him. But once you've experienced Bobcat Goldthwait's brilliant character portrait of him and heard Crimmins's secret, you will never forget him. From his unmistakable bullish frame came a scathingly ribald stand-up style that took early audiences by force. Through stark, smart observation and judo-like turns of phrase, Crimmins's rapid-fire comedy was a war on ignorance and complacency in '80s America at the height of an ill-considered foreign policy. Crimmins discusses another side of his character, revealing in detail a dark and painful past that inspired his life-changing campaign of activism in the hope of saving others from a similar experience. Interviews with comics like Margaret Cho and Marc Maron illustrate Crimmins's love affair with comedy and his role in discovering and supporting the development of ma
Director(s): Bobcat Goldthwait
Production: MPI Media Group
  6 wins & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
106 min

Thank you very much.

Thank you and congratulations

for being part of this

huge crowd today.

They tell us ifs

not another Vietnam

and then they wheel out

Henry Kissinger

to tell us about it.

Henry Kissinger!

If it's not another Vietnam,

why would they bring

Henry Kissinger?

What, was Goebbels

not available that day?

Goering wasn't around?

Bring out Kissinger.

And he talks like

he's really saying'

"We must very careful

or war will be averted. "

Unlike the U.S. Government,

I've never supported

Saddam Hussein.

Nor have I supported

the Shah of Iran,

Shamir, Sharon'


Chiang Kai-shek,



the Somozas'

the Duvaliers,

Marcos, Batista,


Rios Montt,

Stroessner, Pinochet'


Park Chung-hee,

General Zia,

The Sultan of Brunei,

Assad, King Fahd,

General Zia,

Franco, Savimbi'

Lyndon Johnson,

Richard Nixon,

Gerald Ford'

P.W. Botha,

Margaret Thatcher,

Ronald Reagan

or George Bush.

- Everything about him

was honest and true,

and there was no bullshit.

There was no...

No fake anything.

- Oh, Barry Crimmins,

oh my God.

Who's Barry? Barry who?

He was a guy...

who you heard about

before you actually saw him.

This whispered-about presence.

I never met anyone like him.

- I went to Kentucky...

I got into a big hassle.

I got caught smuggling

books into Kentucky.

Got off on a technicality.

No one could prove

they were books.

- Barry Crimmins was this

weird mythical force

that was a judgmental

sage of some kind that'

you know,

I didn't quite get.

- You know, in the 80s

and 90s there was, like,

this wave of comedy that was...

the truth teller.

And I feel like people

should claim him more.

Because I think he has

much more of an influence

than anybody realizes.

Gruff, smart, annoying...

Like, invasive.

- You know, Barry

should have been a super,

super, superstar, I suppose,

if this was a just world.

- I was always very aware of

this name and this presence of,

"If you really want to see

somebody go to the edge,

you gotta go look

for Barry Crimmins. "

But he wasn't

putting albums out'

the internet wasn't there yet.

- He had integrity,

you know, and he would...

He was a man of his word.

But he was,

he was a nut job!

- Hold on a second.


Watch the kind

of stuff I can do here.

Listen, I'm sick of

listening to you yell.

I'm making a TV show here,


And you're yelling.

Just get out.

I don't like you.

He's like a, you know.

Like a guy in a John Ford

movie, you know?

He's just this combination

of sort of anger

and sentimentality,

you know?

Which, you know, makes him

fascinating but difficult.

- He would rip politicians,

he would rip musicians.

Everything was fair

game in his eyes.

- He's like a combination

of Ambrose Bierce

and Charles Manson,

if you're just looking at him.

Will Rogers and Mark Twain.

- Audie Murphy

and Abby Hoffman.

- He looks a lot like

Fidel Castro.

Noam Chomsky and Bluto.

- Everybody should just

treat each other well...

Because there's a

lot of pain out there.

And comedy has nothing to

do with alleviating it.

It's just a distraction, man.

- I knew that he

was a troubled guy'

that things were

not easy for him.

They didn't seem

easy for him ever.

When he was around he was

always kind of nervous

and seemed fragile

in a way.

But volatile.

- There's always so many people

around making noise and stuff.

You never know

what to do, really'

because your senses are

constantly assaulted.

And your senses are being

assaulted right now by me

because you're watching me

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Call Me Lucky" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 5 Feb. 2023. <>.

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