Published May 01, 2015Nate Bargatze is a simple man. He doesn't know much — as he attests to almost immediately in his new comedy special Full Time Magic. He holds no discernable opinions and if he possesses any nuggets of wisdom, he's certainly hoarding them all to himself. Bargatze is the blankest of slates, his alter ego: the Amazing Unremarkable Man.
In his new Comedy Central special, Bargatze proves once again that 42 minutes of small talk really can hold an audience. He's very good at it; his is a rare talent. Bargatze pulls his audience into a stress-free labyrinth of passing thoughts and moderately embarrassing hijinks. Before long he's got you laughing in spite of yourself at things that, without exception, unequivocally do not matter.
If fans consider satirists such as John Stewart, Louis CK and the like to be comedy's heroes of the day, Nate Bargatze is their anti-hero. He doesn't come across as daft. He's a little too mild-mannered to be considered a member of the blue collar brigade. He simply comes across as the type of person who doesn't really care one way or the other about anything at all, which means anybody could imagine him to be on their side, a nice guy to have a beer with. It's probably his best asset. He's so unbelievably disassociated from anything anybody could possibly care about — other than the size of his gut, a fondness for chain restaurants, and an ambivalence towards whether or not Honduras is a country or a city — that it's almost absurd. It's ultimately refreshing.
Nate Bargatze champions the cause of those who believe movies are too damn long. He is the stoic representative of all who have been caught naked and drunk in a hotel hallway. He's who we want to be. He's completely unashamed, unpretentious, open and — compared to comedians and layfolk alike — just a little less sick of it all.
Nate Bargatze's Full Time Magic is 42 minutes well spent. It has some great moments, most of them rooted in Bargatze's disarming honesty. However, it doesn't pay much in the way of dividends after the curtain drops. His focus on the mundane tends to have a lulling result. It`s effective in the moment — it's consistently funny — but unlikely to remain kicking around your head a few days later.