It’s cliché to suggest that movies with more than a couple of screenwriters have “too many cooks in the kitchen”. In the case of The Comedian, this truth is self-evident. Writer Jeff "Roastmaster General" Ross is all over Taylor Hackford's film, which boasts a sturdy premise and a sturdier lead actor: Aged former-sitcom-star-turned-comic Jackie Burke (Robert DeNiro) must navigate a cruel, DIY-media landscape that values spectacle over smarts. Unfortunately, the three Not-Jeff-Rosses on the script assembly line forgot that one doesn’t need artificial romance plot lines or family melodrama to make a comedian's life interesting. Jackie loses his cool with an ambush-blogger in a nightclub; winds up doing community service at a homeless shelter; and meeting Leslie Mann’s mixed-up, recently dumped co-ex-con volunteer, Harmony (so ironic!). Et Voilà! The film's delightfully wicked standup scenes quickly drown in the very same unhealthy, empty-calorie syrup that insult comedy was made to sop up.