Published May 27, 2016Exclaim! is reviewing every standup comedy special currently available on Netflix Canada, including this one. You can find a complete list of reviews so far here.
Matt Braunger has been chiselling his infectious brand of humour into the comedy mainframe for nearly a decade. He's an alumni of Mad TV with two standup comedy specials, an album, and appearances on some of TV's most reputable late night shows and comedies under his belt. If anything could have consolidated Braunger's standing as one of the funniest comics in standup today, it would be hard to beat his 2015 Netflix special Big Dumb Animal.
Braunger's insight into life at the apparently harrowing age of 39 screams "HELP ME" in a way that only the best introspective comics can manage. Being single, keeping up with younger drinkers, hokey cops and avoiding demon sofas, late night parking zombies and what-have-you is about as full an hour of comedy as one could ask for. But that's just his conventional material.
His smart, twisted take on God's climactic displeasure with homosexuality is a show stopper. The bit is perfect, the kind of simple, flawless gag that makes you wonder how a joke so simple and obvious hadn't occurred to every comedian and his uncle since the dawn of the whole "homosexuality causes natural disasters" debacle began.
His argument for why all guys are creepy is difficult to argue with, yet he's an engaging performer, likable and clever as all get-out.
His performance is loosely tied to — and in some cases most likely drawn from — the end of a long-term relationship. Braunger's comedy being generally positive, the subject matter comes out most clearly in his return to the nightlife flirting scene. His chagrin towards any amount of window dressing surrounding flirting is hilarious, with no shortage of undue intensity nearly bringing the audience to tears.
Big Dumb Animal is an uproarious special, one of 2015's best. Matt Braunger is incisive, vibrant and unpredictable. Comedians who lean heavily on opinions often tend to be angry more often than accurate. Braunger might not be the angriest comic out there, but boy is he right on the money.