Picks and Pans Review: Brett Butler: "the Child Ain't Right"

updated 09/06/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/06/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Showtime (Mon., Sept. 6. 10:35 p.m. ET)

B

In a stand-up show taped at San Francisco's Cowell Theater, Butler shows off the comic chops that earned her her own ABC sitcom, Grace Under Fire, which premieres Sept. 22.

The Alabama-born, Georgia-bred Butler lights out after her lacky Southern roots: "Grew up Southern Baptist...with a big picture of Elvis's Last Supper in our living room." As in her sitcom, a lot of the material here focuses on the idiocy of her peckerwood first husband: "He used to watch fishing shows on TV and pay attention."

Unlike Jeff Foxworthy, Butler is no one-note comic fixated on rednecks. Soon she's doing Brooklyn accents, talking about the commercialization of Christmas, grown-up lovers who baby-talk to each other, and her devotion to her second husband ("You let one dog get away, you're gonna build a taller fence and put better food out").

Onstage, she seems a little uncomfortable physically. Tier delivery gets too rushed at times, making the gags seem too rehearsed. But Butler does good voices and makes great faces. And that makes her a natural for sitcoms.

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