Windy City Heat DVD

Windy City Heat
Cast: Perry Caravello
Studio: Comedy Central
Rating: 5/10

THE STORY: Comic provocateurs Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla (THE MAN SHOW) and their comedian friends Bob Goldthwait, Dane Cook, and Carson Daly pool their collective talents to play the mother of all practical jokes in Comedy Central’s made-for-TV mockumentary WINDY CITY HEAT. A longer, more elaborate version of PUNK’D, the inventive prank is instigated by comics Don Barris and Tony Barbieri on their unsuspecting friend Perry Caravello, a struggling, egotistical, and minimally talented actor who is fooled into thinking he’s won the lead role in a Hollywood blockbuster. As Caravello is put through a roster of increasingly absurd humiliations, the film becomes a sly commentary on stardom and celebrity worship in which the joke just might be on the viewer.

THE REVIEW: Windy City Heat is a combination of reality and fiction television. The joke is that it’s a “joke is on you” and the victim is Perry Caravello. Because its not certain whether this is fiction or reality, it’s not always obvious if Caravello is in on the joke. That hurts the show—but then again it will make you laugh.

It’s hard not to feel for Caravello—and then again just as you start to feel bad you have to wonder if Caravallo knows the deal. If he is in on the joke then he’s a better actor than he is given credit for. What makes the movie appear to be fiction is the fact that Perry believes he’s a great actor. There is no way this guy thinks he is great at acting because it’s so obvious he isn’t. The show is about bringing Perry down to earth and you have to believe his ego wouldn’t be nearly as high in his everyday life.

And even if this was fiction you have to believe Perry would figure it out eventually after all hell seems to break loose. Any normal person would eventually look around for someone to pop out from Candid Camera. The pranks are hilarious and come all of the time without refrain. But is it fiction?

THE EXTRAS: The commentary by Perry Caravello is funny. Caravello tries to explain away his feelings and talks about the question of whether or not it’s a fiction show. It’s still not all that obvious.

“The Reveal: footage of Perry watching the film for the first time” – This featurette shows Perry, Don, and Mole at his apartment when he finds out what the show was about.

“Classic Big Three Moments: footage from 1992-present” – This gives some insight into Perry for the uninitiated.

The deleted and extended scenes are a lot of Perry farting and doing other ridiculous things. This doesn’t help keeping our opinion that it’s a setup.

FRANKLY: The many cameos help to make this even more enjoyable. The mess that is Perry Caravello is funny—and if his ego was this big then maybe someone should have given him a reality check.

+ Charlie Craine

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