Published Dec 21, 2016
Vish Khanna writes: "When 2016's Freedumb was released this summer, during the U.S. presidential election, many people seized upon Jefferies' takedown of Donald Trump, and his exhortation to voters: 'Don't be the world's asshole, America,' Jefferies pleads. Those jokes and perspectives aside, the funny thing here is that Jefferies is not typically a 'political comedian.' By his own admission, he's an illiterate lout in a lot of ways, going off at the mouth like a pitbull about whatever subject matter sets foot in his yard."
Talking For Clapping
Another legend in the making, it's hard to go wrong with any Oswalt offering, from Patton Pending and Finest Hour to My Weakness is Strong and this acclaimed, recent effort.
Vish Khanna writes: "Talking for Clapping finds one of the smartest, most discerning comedians of our time in something of a transitional phase, as his penchant for jolly rage and absurdism is measured by his role as a father who, almost by necessity, must view a problematic, painful planet with as much optimism as he can muster."
It's About Time
Vish Khanna writes: "Smart, self-assured, and clearly in command of both his material and the moment, Gary Gulman's slow-build riffs on everything from phones to rude shopping-cart etiquette are funny and insightful. His tangents lead to sharp fare, such as the fact that anti-Obamacare advocates often portray the President with a Hitler moustache even though it wasn't really his stance on socialized medicine that made der Führer so darn vexing."
One of the Greats
Vish Khanna writes: "Likely best known for her role on sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Peretti has appeared on and/or written for virtually every major comedy show in the last decade, and her surreal observational fare is a custom job. She stages this special to address some of the laziness in standup, either directly via the deconstruction of how male comics tend to talk about sex with women on stage, and by the very macho introduction to the special, where she portrays herself as some kind of comedy action star, riding a hog across town to tape this special."
Daniel Sylvester writes: "Opening with a voice-over speech — on top of footage of Hicks traveling from city to city on his Flying Saucer Tour — about how he would hijack a plane just to get his destination on time, gives the viewer a glimpse into just how subversive and fearless Hicks comedy was, even from the beginning. Although he starts off with a bit of obvious humour on how he once saw someone selling dirt in Tennessee, he incorporates it into a larger narrative about his perceived notion that American Southerners are almost exclusively hillbillies, giving a hilarious impression of a waitress asking him 'What are you reading for?'"