Archive for the ‘Stand Up Special Review’ Category

1There just seems to be a plethora of comedy specials that have been coming out lately in 2017 or it might just be the fact that Netflix knows I love stand up comedy. Nonetheless, there is a crap ton of comedy specials that I have to watch before the end of the year to decide who is up for Stand Up Special of the year. One of my all time favorite comedians from the late 90’s into the 2000’s was the legendary Dave Chappelle who disappeared for a while. In 2017, he returned with not one, but two comedy specials that were released together, but from two different locations. I had already covered the first comedy special that he did so it was only logical to tackle the second one which is titled Deep In The Heart Of Texas: Dave Chappelle Live At Austin City Limits. Filmed live from the legendary Austin City Limits, Dave tackles some of the most risque, but interesting topics like Aids and Ebola, Racism, Paula Dean, Donald Sterling, Lil Wayne, Banana incident, Snowball Incident, Ray Rice, the word pussy, male obgyn’s, gay bloggers, Michael Sams, getting extorted through VHS, masturbating and so much more in this hilarious special.

2If you are wondering how real the banana incident is then I want you to check out this article and take a peak at the clown who did it. I didn’t believe that it was real or maybe I just didn’t want to believe it because I figured people were better than that. There is always someone who proves me wrong from time to time. Dave is hilarious in the comedy special as always and he has a certain way of putting a funny twist to serious topics like the Michael Sams topic. He descried how he didn’t like what Ray Rice did, but then asked if Michael Sams assaulted the person he loved, would it be considered domestic violence or two dudes working out their issues? Dave Chappelle is also very socially aware and he sneaks some of that in when talking about certain subjects like AIDS vs Ebola with the quote of (and I am paraphrasing), it’s funny how AIDS comes out in the 80’s and only attacks blacks, gays, and drug addicts. He does have a very interesting point there when he says it, but let’s not forget that he is a comedic genius and it shines through. You have to love him because he also interacts with his crowd very well during the special like asking for a cigarette and getting a bunch tossed his way or just when he tries to explain the premise of his jokes. Check this one out for ssure on Netflix right now as we speak and I am giving the special an A- for a final grade.

hasan minhaj.pngThere is a lot of great programming that is being brought to us by Netflix that it’s absolutely ridiculous. Earlier in the year, we checked out a great comedy special by Vir Das who was just mind blowing in the way he delivered comedy. Vir Das though, is not the only person who is bringing cultural awareness to us on stage in the form of a comedy special. He is not the only one who is also bringing his culture to the forefront in the form of a comedy special because I want to welcome to everyone Indian American comedian Hasan Minhaj. If you do not know who Hasan Minhaj is then you need to get to know the Daily Show with Trevor Noah writer and correspondent. In his very first Netflix Original comedy special entitled Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King, he travels home to Davis, California to deliver a special that tackles topics like getting married, arranged marriages, birthdays, an unexpected sister, Muslims vs Hindus, racism, Fox News, Bill Mahr, the internet, tough parents, the Daily Show, and so much more in this one hour special.

hasanI really liked the comedy special from Hasan because it offered you a much different perspective on what it is like to be an Indian in America. Vir Das gave you the perspective from an Immigrant who is navigating through the world kind of perspective while Hasan gives you the perspective of a kid who was born in America trying to understand the intricacies of his culture so that he can navigate through the world as he needs to. That is kind of the only way I can really discuss the differences between the two without going too deep. Hasan kind of gives you a real rude awakening to go with his comedy on what it was like to grow up in a country where some secretly hate you and others openly hate you.  One of my favorite parts of his show is when he is discussing the prom because it’s a huge story that kind of ties all that I have been talking about, but it has a very happy and promising ending to it, but it’s a great story. Hasan Minhaj is a great story teller that not only can make you laugh, but he can make you think as well. I am definitely a fan of his and will be checking out more from him in the future, but for now check out his special. I am going to give it an A for a final grade.

staying aliveEvery once in a while, Saturday Night Live will have a cast member that is so funny that he becomes a star right in front of our own very eyes like Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, and even Tracy Morgan. They are able to transition from stand up to skit comedy all the way to movie stars, but when tragedy hits, it really sucks. That is what it seemed like for Tracy Morgan who was hit by a Walmart truck in an accident that almost killed the 30 Rock star. For a very long time, we wondered if Tracy would ever be the same again and whether he would bounce back or not. In his very first stand up comedy special since the accident, Tracy Morgan was back to prove that he still had it and Netflix was right there to support him with his very own Netflix comedy special Tracy Morgan: Staying Alive. In the special recorded at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, NJ, he tackles all sorts of subjects like meeting God while in a coma, being in heaven, Kim Khardashian and the others, the dark side of his family, Mike Tyson, Ancestory.com, therapy, Tiger Woods, Flavor Flav, strip clubs, Madonna, DUI, his first and current marriage, and so much more in this hilarious special.

staying alive 2I have to say that I loved the intro to the special only because I was a huge fan of the film Saturday Night Fever, but more importantly it’s just nice to see him back. I was a huge fan of Tracy;s when it came to his films so I honestly didn’t know what to expect out of the comedy special, but I was very happy when it was over. I say that because I honestly could not stop laughing at so many of his jokes. One of my favorite jokes of the night came when he was talking about his grandma and how she is always praying. He always tries to hide from her or pretend to be in the coma, but one day he had enough. He woke up and told her that he had met God in heaven before and she of course asked what he had told Tracy and he responded back. He said, “Tell your grandma to shut the fu** up. Between her and Tim Tebow, I can’t get any sleep.” It just stuff like that and when he talks about his various family members, it gets really funny. The punchlines to his jokes is where the true genius of him lies and the way he delivers them makes you unable to hold a straight face. I definitely suggest checking this special out from him if you get a chance. I am giving the special an A- for a final grade cause sometimes you need some dirty comedy in your life to counter act the smart comedy.

2017I have been asking myself for a week now, “who is going to top that stand up comedy special by Vir Das?” That is definitely a serious question to ask, but it also shows how great Netflix has been in the last five years as far as producing great content because I feel we might have another one today. In the last fifteen years or so, there has always been one constant in the world of comedy from whether it is having your own TV show on FX or producing great comedy specials, it’s that Louis C.K. has been a constant in our lives. Louis C.K. teams up with Netflix to produce what I believe to be his ninth overall hour or so long comedy special (I could be wrong, there could be more) in Louis C.K. 2017. In 2017, Louis talks to us about all sorts of interesting topics that range from abortions, the right to kill yourself, why you look stupid during beheadings, religion and how Christianity won, rescue dogs, drugs for dogs, stereotypes, public school teachers, Achilles, email fights, Magic Mike, and so much more in this hilarious special filmed live in Washington D.C.

louisI have been reading some of the reviews that are out there about this special and some of them I do have to disagree. Yeah sure, we are not all going to think that everything a comedian says is hilarious, but this was not a stupid comedy special. Louis definitely entertains in an only a way that he knows how to and that is connecting with his crowd. He does that through the various topics that he talks about and I think the abortion one was ballsy, but it’s 2017 so it’s not really a ballsy topic. One of my favorite topics that he covered in the special that I thought was funny was his whole bit on religion and how Christianity basically won that fight just because all you have to say is what year it is to validate that answer. I thought his bit on Magic Mike and why he can’t watch the whole film was hilarious and probably a dilemma that most males in the world go through. There were some very funny moments in the special, but then there were moments that you wanted him to move on and those were few and far between. I definitely think that this is a special that you should give a chance because he is hilarious. I am going to give the special an B+ (almost an A-) for a final grade.

vir dasIt’s been a little while since the last Tuesday Stand Up and to be honest there is a reason there wasn’t one last week and that is because I was disappointed with Amy Schumer’s latest effort. I however do not want to talk about that special because I think we have an interesting one here for all of you out there. Who here is familiar with the name Vir Das? If you are not familiar with the name Vir Das, then I do not blame you whatsoever, but that is the beauty of discovery especially with Netflix. Vir Das is an Indian Bollywood actor and comedian who has just recently released his very first Netflix Original Stand Up special that he hopes will educate us as well as entertain us called Vir Das: Abroad Understanding. The cool and unique thing about this special is that it wasn’t just filmed in one location. No, it was filmed in two different locations that are thousands of miles away from each other with the special filmed at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi, India and also at the SubCulture in New York City. The special bounces back and forth as Vir tackles subjects like American Women, Donald Trump, Hollywood Vs India, religious phobias, religious texts, Christmas, breakfast, the appeal of American food vs Indian food, children, racism, french kiss, and so much more.

vir das 2One of the things I loved about this special is some awesome quotes from him that I just couldn’t forget like the opening one, “once you go brown, the other colors let you down.” While that may not be funny to you, I thought it was clever as hell. The other quote that comes later is when he is talking about how Jesus has been replaced and forgotten in favor of Christmas trees in America. The quote is basically a hindu cabby talking to Jesus saying, “This is the second time in your life you were defeated by a piece of wood.” The man is smart and he is engaging which is the best part of the special in general. He is not afraid to engage his own people when it comes to social topics in India as he engages the American crowd about our own issues like electing Donald Trump or what we identify as racism. All I am saying to all of you out there is that this is an example of smart comedy vs stupid and perverted comedy which isn’t a bad thing to be into cause those can be funny too. I just think Vir Das is someone that everyone should give a chance cause he is the alternative to Russell Peters and Aziz Ansari. I am going to give the special an A for a final grade, check it out on Netflix right now.

dave chappeleOne of my all time favorite comedians from the 90’s and 2000’s has always been the one and only Dave Chappelle. Whether or not he made me laugh in his films like Half Baked, Undercover Brother, Robin Hood: Men In Tights, or through his amazing Comedy Central show The Chappelle Show, I have a sense of urgency to watch whatever he puts out. I mean let’s be honest for a minute, if it wasn’t for him, you probably wouldn’t have had Key & Peele (To which he says in today’s comedy special). So, when I heard that Dave had two new specials on Netflix, I was definitely checking them out. The first of the two specials that are on there is the first comedy special from him in over ten years and it’s called The Age Of Spin which was taped live at The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.  In the special, he tackles all sorts of lovely subjects like the four times that he has met OJ Simpson in his life, A show gone wrong in Detroit, Dancing With The Stars, Making A Murderer, the Oscars vs Flint, Michigan, gay superhero, gays, LGBT Q?, Bruce Jenner, Philippines, Old School ways, the history of America, Bill Cosby, Kevin Hart, and so much more.

dave chappelleOne of the comments that kind of shocked me, but made me realize how it true it was, was the comment about Key & Peele. He said something around the nature of now you know how it feels to watch your own show, it’s called Key & Peele. It has been so long since Chappelle has been around, but he had to have known that others were going to take the proverbial ball and roll with it. I mean this is Hollywood after all, but nevertheless the comedy special reminds you of his brilliance. It reminds you that he is not afraid to say whatever he wants when he is up there and that is what we love about him. He has some real hilarious moments on the stage especially his rant on gays and even Bill Cosby. It was almost as if he had never lost a step because it looked so natural. It was almost exactly like the time Richard Pryor first came back to stand up, you didn’t know what to expect, but he knocked it out of the park and so did Chappelle. I honestly can not wait to cover the second of the two specials he has up on Netflix. I am giving him an A for this one.

8 jerrodThere was once a time when HBO had ruled the world of comedy producing specials from some of the greats like George Carlin, Robin Williams, Chris Rock, and so many more that it’s too much to list. For those of you that do not know who budding young comedian Jerrod Carmichael is, you may remember him from comedies like Neighbors and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising or his own show on NBC The Carmichael Show. Well Jerrod has a new comedy special that aired on HBO entitled Jerrod Carmichael-8 which was recorded live from Masonic Lodge’s Grand Hall in New York City. In the special, he tackles all sorts of subjects that range from Trump’s victory, animal rights, supporting the troops, global warming, being a good boyfriend, cheating, Jay-Z, Beyonce, fairy tales, grandparents in love?, plan b, being a parent, pro choice, fears, ISIS, and so much more in this one hour comedy special.

jerrodI don’t exactly know how to categorize or even describe the style of Jerrod Carmichael because it’s a sarcastic, but insightful style that he has. One thing that I will say is that after watching him for about ten minutes, you can definitely predict his jokes because he does the same thing over and over again. That was my one of my problems with the show overall was that it became too predictable and he sort of lost me for a while. I remember that there was only one joke in the whole show that I actually laughed at while I just sat there watching waiting for him to think that he was being controversial. Not all of it is bad though because you can definitely tell that he has a bright future ahead of him, I may just be out of his age range and that is a hard pill for me to swallow. He does a good job interacting with the crowd during the show and they seemed to enjoy his show which is another reason I say that he has a bright future. Check out the special for yourself because you may enjoy it more than I did.