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COMMITTED (#HotDocs15 Review)


Directed by Howie Mandel, Reed Grinsell and Steve Sunshine.

You probably haven’t heard of Vic Cohen. I hadn’t either before I saw COMMITTED. The film follows Canadian comedian Howie Mandel’s interactions with Cohen over a span of thirteen years. Mandel first met Cohen after Cohen submitted jokes to his talk show. There was something about Cohen that Mandel was drawn to, so he decided to take Cohen on as a passion project of sorts. Mandel, along with co-directors Reed Grinsell and Steve Sunshine, followed Cohen’s auditions, stand-up routines, and TV broadcasts while the struggling comedian tried to make it big.


Cohen does not have a particular style of comedy, but his acts at some point feature him removing his clothing and dancing in his underwear. At times Cohen’s performances are just plain awkward, at other times they are absolutely hilarious. One of the film’s greatest scenes has Mandel buying public broadcast time on a channel in LA, New York and Chicago. The program features a group of seniors sitting around as he dances to classical music in his underwear, while rubbing food products all over his body.


Over the thirteen-year journey Cohen never seems to reach his personal goals, yet he continues to persevere and is always proud of himself regardless of the audience’s response. COMMITTED shows off the talents of a brilliant, under-the-radar comedian. The film is nothing short of inspiring.

4 sheep

COMMITTED will have its International Premiere at the HotDocs Canadian International Documentary Festival, as part of the Show Me the Funny program, which celebrates comedians and the art of comedy.

Screening Schedule …

Saturday, April 25, 6:00 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox

Sunday, April 26, 11:00 AM, TIFF Bell Lightbox

Saturday, May 2, 9:30 PM, Hart House

For more information and for tickets, please visit

Your turn!

How many sheep would you give Committed?


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