Published Sep 23, 2016Melanie Comarcho isn't here for everybody. She has no truck for small men, for instance. When a short guy asks her, "What can a big man do that I can't?" she responds, "See that light up there? Can you change it?" People that ask her if she has "an extra cigarette" bother her too. ("I ain't bought a pack with one of those extra cigarettes in 'em.") Freeloaders won't get much from her either. She tells her audience, "You gotta get off your ass to get on your feet." But if Ms. Comarcho's Netflix special Hello! isn't for everybody, the audience she does have more than makes up for it.
Hello! begins with cameos from Martin Lawrence and Snoop Dogg, who both give Comarcho sincere advice about her upcoming special. While these endorsements do little to help her seem relatable, they are earnest, and it's heartening to see how pleased and touched she is to receive them. It's also a refreshing change to have a special open on moments of genuine gratitude and warmth, rather than snark.
Comarcho gathers momentum throughout her set. She hits well-worn topics early, with bits about losing your cell phone, or showing up your know-it-all friend with a Google search. She draws her audience in further as she starts talking about her own experience. She occasionally gets very dark. A bit that begins, "I never got beat. Never let a man beat me," becomes, "I got slapped real hard, though. Been kicked a couple times." The audience that had been eating out of her hand up until this point doesn't know quite how to take this, and it doesn't land. She also may spend a bit too much time debating the merits of big versus small penises, but then, haven't we all?
"It's hard out here for us," Comarcho says this several times in her set. As the hour unfolds, "us" becomes broader and broader. She talks about her experience as a black woman, as a parent, as someone re-entering the dating scene, as a taxpayer in the middle of the recession. Just as Melanie Comarcho doesn't like everybody, not everybody will like her. But Hello! is funny and relatable enough to ensure that her fan base will just keep growing.
Exclaim! 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.