DVD Review: ‘Will Ferrell: You’re Welcome America: A Final Night With George W. Bush’

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CHICAGO – When I first heard about Will Ferrell’s one-man Broadway show in which he would deliver a nearly-90-minute monologue as outgoing President George W. Bush, I was both excited at the potential and nervous as to how on Earth the talented comedian could keep it interesting for its full running time. Wouldn’t it play like an extended “Saturday Night Live” sketch? “You’re Welcome America: A Final Night With George W. Bush” not only justifies its running time but is smart, clever, and well-written enough that I wished it was twice as long.

HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 4.0/5.0
DVD Rating: 4.0/5.0

In his first-ever HBO special, Ferrell brings his Tony-nominated portrayal of George W. Bush to audiences who couldn’t make it to New York City earlier this year. Timed to coincide with Bush handing over the reins of the country to Barack Obama, “You’re Welcome America” is a searing, satirical look at not just the Presidency of George W. Bush but his entire misunderestimated life.

Will Ferrell: You're Welcome America: A Final Night With George W. Bush was released on DVD on November 3rd, 2009.
Will Ferrell: You’re Welcome America: A Final Night With George W. Bush was released on DVD on November 3rd, 2009.
Photo credit: HBO Home Video

Of course, if you’re in the 29% of Americans who approved of the job Bush was doing when he left office, I’m not naive enough to think that you’ll get as much enjoyment out of “You’re Welcome America” as the rest of us (although I think even supporters of Bush would recognize the comic ability on display in what Ferrell has accomplished). This is not a kind portrayal of our former leader, as Ferrell skewers every aspect of the life, legend, and legacy of the recently unemployed 43rd U.S. President.

The DVD release of “You’re Welcome America” is what one would expect for what is essentially a stand-up special. There are, naturally, not going to be copious special features or remarkable technical specs. The piece pretty much speaks for itself.

Having said that, fans will find an interesting mini-featurette called “Road to Broadway,” a mildly amusing piece called “Bush on Bush Interview” in which Ferrell plays Dubya interviewing himself, and a disturbing true or false game called “It’s Time Has Come of Being a Decider, America”.

‘Will Ferrell: You’re Welcome America: A Final Night With George W. Bush’ is released by HBO Home Video and stars Will Ferrell. It was written by Ferrell and directed by Marty Callner. The show was released on DVD on November 3rd, 2009. It is rated TV-MA.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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