Given how brutally Will Ferrell skewered George W. Bush during the 2000 election, you’d think a one-man show in which Ferrell celebrates the end of Bush’s two terms with 90 minutes of proudly partisan buffoonery would be a can’t-miss prospect — and during the limited live run of “You’re Welcome America: A Final Night with George W. Bush,” that may have been true. On DVD, however, Ferrell’s salute to the former Commander-in-Chief provokes more chuckles than guffaws, due at least in part to the fact that, despite his many contributions to late night comics’ monologues, Bush’s presidency really wasn’t all that funny. Taped shortly after Bush yielded office to Barack Obama (or, as Ferrell’s version of W. calls him, “the Tiger Woods guy”), this performance initially had the power of pent-up catharsis to get it across; now, however, it’s mostly just a faintly humorous, somewhat painful look back at a period of American history pockmarked with war, terrorism, economic turmoil, and a horrific natural disaster. Ferrell’s squints, frat-boy chuckles, and screams of idiotic rage just can’t keep up with it all, although the show’s more brazenly surreal moments (including a dance with Condoleezza Rice, played here by the fearless Pia Glenn) offer pleasant reminders of just how far he’s willing to go for his comedy. If you really loathed Bush, you’ll probably want to own it — or at least watch it — just to have one last laugh at his expense, but otherwise, this is a pretty lukewarm roast.
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