Published May 20, 2016It often feels as though Michael Ian Black's genius as a standup flies under the radar. He's best known for his work as an actor in the surreal, groundbreaking early '90s sketch show The State, other comedic roles including a current one on The Jim Gaffigan Show, and of late, as an acclaimed author. But each of his comedy specials showcases the full breadth of his talent, as a writer, a committed performer, and just a smart, edgy human man.
Noted Expert is a wild and ludicrous rumination on parenthood, marriage, the ebb and flow of sustaining a creative livelihood, and social and cultural norms, which might seem status quo for a comedian of Black's vintage and personal trajectory, but he honestly renders this material like no one else.
Any parental decorum and composure is jettisoned for the shock of telling jokes about the early onset of sexism towards toddlers and a healthy reflection on the silly frustrations that populate any serious marriage with children. And his story about going to jail in New York City over a pretty infuriating household oversight is just brilliant.
As a performer, dropping in the odd strange voice, animating his cadence and inflections, and defusing the harshest commentary with his trademark audience address, "you guys," Black simply knows how to elevate material and stories on-stage with his offhand, dry attitude. It's always a wondrous thing in his hands and Noted Expert is further evidence that he is one of the great comic minds of our time. (Comedy Dynamics)