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Richard Lewis: A Bundle of Nerves that appeals to everyone's neurotic needs

Lewis cannot curb his enthusiasm
Lewis cannot curb his enthusiasm
HBO

Yes, mental anguish and self-loathing are an art form. In Richard Lewis's case, it's hilarious. The two-DVD set Richard Lewis: Bundle of Nerves (Video Services Corp.) is the collection for all your neurotic needs, containing his much lauded HBO stand-up special Magical Misery Tour, the TV movie Diary of a Young Comic (co-written and starring Lewis) and the brutally honest theatrical film Drunks with Lewis in a dramatic lead role.
The collection also contains a bundle of bonus features including brand-new introductions from Lewis, commentary tracks for Diary of a Young Comic (by Lewis and co-writer Bennett Tramer) and Drunks (by Lewis and director Peter Cohn) and a brand new documentary House of a Lifetime, directed by emerging director Charley Rivkin and created exclusively for this set, which is an unforgettable look at Lewis’s history-filled home. If all that isn’t enough, the cool box cover art is by Richard’s pal, The Rolling Stones’ Ron Wood.
Richard Lewis: Bundle of Nerves contains three distinct phases in Richard Lewis’s career. Magical Misery Tour is the "Prince of Pain" doing what he does best in his fourth cable special, working live in front of an audience, baring his soul and getting non-stop laughs. This 1997 stand-up special, filmed at the once historic Bottom Line in Greenwich Village, features the comedian in top form, and shows why he is one of the few performers who can go to many dark places, fearlessly, without losing the audience or his mind.
Diary of a Young Comic is the 1979 cult classic that stars Lewis as aspiring comedian who agonizes over every detail of life and never seems satisfied with his work or himself. While meeting some interesting LA show biz folks along the way, he eventually converts his fears and worries into a hip and hysterical nightclub act. Directed by Gary Weis of Saturday Night Live fame, this TV movie originally aired in the SNL time slot during its classic early days and is now an important piece of comedy history. With a terrific performance by Lewis and some odd comedic cameos, the film has a real feel for Los Angeles and comedy club life in the late ‘70’s.
Drunks, based on a hit off-Broadway play, is the groundbreaking 1995 film that uses an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting as the backdrop for a dark tapestry of stories about addiction and survival. Lewis received great reviews and shows a dramatic depth that had only been hinted at in previous work. Directed by Peter Cohn, the film features memorable performances by Faye Dunaway, Dianne Wiest, Spalding Gray, Parker Posey, Amanda Plummer, Calista Flockhart, Sam Rockwell and Howard E. Rollins Jr.
In House of a Lifetime, we get an intimate peek at where Richard has lived, nearly overdosed, and created his work for almost 25 years. His house is nestled in the rustic Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles. This is where rock icons also lived and wrote some of the greatest songs of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. From CSN to Hendrix and Morrison–all called the Canyon home. Amazingly, it’s just a few miles away from where his heroes Keaton and Chaplin made their movie magic. Richard has made his version of a home movie as a special treat just for this collection that documents life inside his house of a lifetime.
"Bundle, which was put together tirelessly by VSC, might be the most important document of my 45 year career” says Lewis. “These wildly eccentric, rare films and specials, which are finally on DVD, span over four decades and are now considered ‘iconic.’ The set is topped off by House of a Lifetime, which is a documentary about my historic house/museum in the Hollywood Hills. It’s really an homage to my entire career and love of the arts…and as a world-class recluse, making this film was the only way I could have guests.”
In Richard Lewis: Bundle of Nerves, Richard Lewis and VSC have brought together an anthology that serves up comedy, drama and honesty…all with a side order of angst. They say misery loves company---who knew that misery loves comedy as well? Lewis knows, and this collection truly illustrates the tracks of his fears.