Yeah, okay, for the past little while, Netflix has become synonymous with some great stand-up comedy specials. They’ve done so much right you can’t fault them. But like everyone, every now and then they shit their pants and it’s a long walk home at the end of the night. This one is a trek through the woods with a loaded pair of underwear for somebody.
CHICO BEAN, KARLOUS MILLER, DC YOUNG FLY
Look, I know how popular these guys are with their podcasts, and even as separate comedians. I also know their tours sell out like umbrellas on a rainy day in London, but this was their first Netflix special. They had Stan Lathan, one of the best, if not the current premiere stand-up director helming this thing. Rikki Hughes was their producer, who, like Stan, knows her game when it comes to producing, and it had so much more going for it. Have some bits prepared. I get it, it’s an ‘on the fly’ show. It’s cool to call it that, but have some shit prepared! They came off like f-ing amateurs. It took them twenty-five minutes to crack a joke. Not one f-ing joke. Twenty-five minutes in. It was painful. Like watching a pony die.
PREEN AROUND THE STAGE
I really wanted to love this thing. I love to laugh, and I like their stuff, but they just preen around the stage, yelling back and forth at each other with this great set behind them, sharp cinematography, and strong musicians that they keep stepping on, and an enthusiastic audience that is quickly realizing they’re going to have to fake an orgasm if they’re going to have one. It’s so disappointing.
I’m serious. These guys owe Netflix some money back, or at the very least, they owe Ted Sarandos and Robbie Praw some yard work. If you think I’m wrong, view it. You’ll likely agree with me. The only time there’s any joy to the whole thing is when the two musical acts come out: Rich Homie Quan and Goodie Mob, which is Cee-Lo Green’s group. The music acts are both first class and they do light the audience up, which is a good thing so you know they’re not comatose or high as hell, because they’re truly not laughing very hard at the three funny guys.
Oh and by the way, even here, the three ‘not as funny tonight as ‘Hannah Gadsby is on a bad night guys’ don’t even scoot off and let the musicians do their thing. They stay there and step all over them. Even with the woman Violinist at the beginning and the Tuba player. They go on and on about what a cool move it is to have them both on a show, and when they start to do a solo, cut them off in 10 seconds yammering on about some stuff that once again is void of comedy.
A low point of the special is when they try to do a ‘Bumping Mics’ ‘Roast Battle’ kind of thing. All they do is make you realize how good Jeff Ross, Brian Moses, Dave Attel, and that whole gang are. These guys don’t land any punches on one another at all. It’s like watching three blindfolded old ladies slap fight. Every wallop thrown misses so badly the audience is finally laughing at the futility. Some of the stuff is their inside jokes that we just don’t get, Karlous and D.C. making each other laugh at something at Chico Bean’s expense, but it’s such an over the top miss, and D.C. Young Fly, in this special at least, comes off like a weird impression of an old ‘In Living Color’ spoof character. I’ve seen him be so much better
When the crowd at the live taping is just mildly amused, you know there’s a problem. When the band members are sitting right behind you most of the special wondering where this thing went wrong, it’s a calamity.
There are some good moments, don’t get me wrong; Getting to watch D.C. Young Fly take over the drums and realizing that he can. Chico dancing with an old lady in the crowd. A few others. But not a lot.
Improvising a special doesn’t work. Not on this level. Getting the crowd to jump up and down because you’re having them do it at your command is not the same thing as a spontaneous reaction. I wonder what would have resulted if these three had worked as hard at this as Stan Lathan and Rikki Hughes must’ve. Someone worked their asses off to get it to where it was, as well produced as it is. They just forgot ‘the set list for the guys’. I wish they had had some good bits put together.
‘THIS DUDE IS JUST A RACIST OLD BAT’
I know a lot of people are reading this and thinking, “Wow, this dude is just a racist old bat. He didn’t get any of the jokes. This is comedy for black people by black people, it’s not for him.” Bullshit. Fuck that. Funny is funny. They didn’t bring anything.
‘HEY A LOT OF MY BEST COMICS ARE BLACK!’
It’s true. A lot of the ones that make me pound the table are . Rock, Chappelle, Brian Simpson, Ian Edwards, I just saw this great comic, Heather Jay, the other night down in Long Beach who had me howling. Another one, a young black guy, George K. Burns (no relation), I got all their jokes, so it wasn’t that I didn’t get what 85 South are doing here, but they ghosted us. I’ve watched these three guys do stand-up. I know what they can do when they want to bring it. On this special, they didn’t. They wanted to wing it, and guess what? Maybe that isn’t their skill set? I don’t know. Maybe they’ve ‘wung it’ in the past. I just know they didn’t bring it on this show.
So, sadly, especially if you call me a racist because, my response would be to use the N-word. Don’t hate me…. Na*@eTTE!!
You just made Hannah Gadsby look good. At least she did her homework.
Sometimes Improv works, sometimes it doesn’t, but at the level these guys are at? Someone should have pulled it back in for a re-shoot. A re-tool. They needed to knock this out of the park and they didn’t even kick it out of the kitchen. Sorry.
P.S. Check out their other, much, much better work here.
Hey ALSO if you’re in L.A. this weekend I’m at the Ice House in Pasadena for Mike Binder and Friends. There’s still about 30 tickets left. Not a lot, so get them now. It’s going to be a great show, and if you do come, and you don’t like it, later, you can shit on my stuff like I just shat on 85 South’s. Fair is fair!