Published May 11, 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.
Anyone who's seen Reggie Watts during his three-and-a-half season run as bandleader for the Comedy Bang! Bang! television series, his many appearances on Conan's talk shows or through his own string of albums, will no doubt be familiar with his unique ability to combine comedy, music and general tomfoolery.
On his first standup special, 2010's Why Shit So Crazy?, Watts tests out his left-field humour on the hipster boroughs of New York. Inter-cut between performances at Brooklyn's The Bellhouse, Galapagos and Bleeker Street's Le Poisson Rouge, the Montana-raised comedian's 55-minute special comes off surprisingly fluid and focused.
Opening with a cockeyed skit that featured Dungeons and Dragons, Kumail Nanjiani and a nonexistent tie, Why Shit So Crazy? feels more like an anti-comedy variety show than straight standup special, as Watts moves from musical numbers to crowd work to visual jokes and rehearsed stage numbers (one standout involving a woman walking out, only to have Reggie chase her down and confront her, only to find out she was upset about his choice of shirts), but it's a stretch to say that there's any real jokes involved here.
But for the initiated, Watt's fractured personality is exactly what makes his stage show so unique, absorbing and charming, as there's a real rush in watching someone completely winging it on stage, whether it be stream-of-conscious ramblings or freestyle songs. Watts undoubtedly possesses a real confidence and fearlessness that gives the receptive crowd permission to follow him into some of the most absurd places, which makes Why Shit So Crazy? a truly one-of-a-kind comedy special.