60 Spins Around the Sun review

:. Director: Laura Kightlinger
:. Genre: Documentary
:. Running Time: 1:00
:. Year: 2003
:. Country: USA


60 Spins Around the Sun chronicles the hyper kinetic life of Randy Credico, a comedian with a mission for unsung causes, from the Sandanistas and Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. to his battles against New York's Rockefeller Drug Laws and racial profiling in Tulia, Texas. Ultimately, director Laura Kightlinger takes a look at what makes a passionate but annoying activist/comedian tick, with fellow comedians and ex-girlfriends offering their takes on Credico.

From his personal fight against the rats of Rush Street that took over the streets after a McDonald's opened up, to his failed Humor for Hoffa campaign (which consisted of strong-arming comedians into supporting Jimmy Hoffa Junior's campaign to head the Teamsters Union), along with his vocal battles against unjust New York drug laws, ultimately Credico is the rock star publicist for those who have no voice. He knows what works and what will turn the media on. And guess what? It's a lot like showbiz. Credico knows how to put a name and a face to the issues he wants to bring attention to. To illustrate the injustice of a one time drug offense leading to a twenty year prison term, Credico has the imprisoned woman's young daughter onstage, crying for her mother. In another, a wheelchair bound man with muscular dystrophy who can't move on his own is shown as a minor threat to society. Both of these people were first time offenders, not big time kingpins. On Rush Street, he dressed up as a rat and called the media to come to McDonald's: the rat infestation was solved in no time. As Credico explains, that_s the life of an activist: planning a one hour protest and spending the rest of the week on the phone trying to get people to show up.

But before he became an activist he was a comedian on the up and up who couldn't keep his mouth shut about politics. When invited to the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Credico bombed when he went on about U.S. foreign policy in Central America. Though a master at impersonations (Kissinger, Reagan), he was not invited back to the show. In another funny sequence, shots of various Vegas hotels blow up as Credico explains that nearly every place he had a gig was eventually destroyed. His comedy career was basically over once he started wearing a dumb costume as H.R. Pufnstuf on the "Rosie O'Donnell Show".

Kightlinger offers other angles of the Credico prism by interviewing lots of his ex-girlfriends. One looks like his daughter, one's a dancer and lots are comedians. To say the least, they don't exactly shower him with accolades. But they do explain how a man so passionate and busy about his causes (always on his cell phone, always borrowing money, always disheveled, always complaining) doesn't always devote enough attention to intimate relationships, which does get bit troublesome for the girlfriend at hand. As Kightlinger explained after the screening at AFI Fest 2003, the ex-girlfriends came out in full force like the rats of Rush Street.

As a fellow comedian and writer, Kightlinger knows how to keep the pace moving and going into Credico's politics without being weighed down by, well, politics. The portrait she paints is one of a sometime weasel, yes, but always passionate about the mission at hand.

  Anji Milanovic

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