Stream Police: Stand-up Comedy, Cutthroat Kitchen
Netflix has been stepping up their stand-up comedy game lately. It seems like a new Netflix produced special pops up every week. With that in mind, I’m mixing up Stream Police this week with some stand-up recommendations.
If you only know John Mulaney from his terrible (and doomed) sitcom, you’re going to have to trust me on this one. As bad as his wannabe-Seinfeld show may be, New in Town is one of the best hour specials of the past decade. Mulaney’s childlike sense of wonder makes him eminently likable. Even the simplest topics become playground for his silliness to explore. From babysitting, to Law and Order: SVU, to wild high school parties and homeless men with AIDS, every bit lands, and the pacing is flawless. Consider New in Town required viewing for comedy enthusiasts (It’s almost enough to forgive him for the TV show).
Good for fans of: Mike Birbiglia, Brian Reagan, Stefon, Gangly Perma-children, Ice T’s Lisp
Out of context quote from an online review: “…‘midgets’ and the N-word…”
Rating: 14 stars
Wyatt Cenac’s sophomore special take’s the comedian’s talent underground to a basement theater in Brooklyn (go figure). The small venue of Brooklyn suits Cenac’s material better than the large venue of his previous special, Comedy Person. Cenac mines his upbringing for surprisingly personal material. Every so often, the special randomly cuts away from the stage to puppets as an added visual for the material. It seems a bit unnecessary, as it doesn’t add to the enjoyment of the comedy itself, but it doesn’t interfere either. It’s definitely a bizarre choice, but Cenac almost singlehandedly put together the whole special, so a few self-indulgent touches are forgivable. It may be a little New York-centric for some, but if you can get past that (and the puppets), it provides a great showcase for Cenac’s storytelling abilities.
Good for fans of: Random puppets, Kumail Nanjiani, Hannibal Buress, moustaches, beanies, gentrification, telling people about the dangers of gentrification
Out of context review quote: “The bit about his dad's murder was great, though.”
Rating: 3 Keith Van Horns out of 4 Jason Kidds
PICK I MADE WITH MY EYES CLOSED
Do you like Chopped? Do you get mad when Chopped rewards the best cook with prize money? Would you rather Chopped reward the biggest douchebag with a pittance? Then you’re in luck. Cutthroat Kitchen is an exact replica of Chopped, except the contests can use their potential prize money to bid on tools for screwing over their opponents. Cooking braised carrots? Well now your carrots are replaced with Tootsie Rolls! What a wacky twist! If you’re a vindictive turd, this is your kind of show. If you like watching people actually cook, watch something else.
Good for fans of: Survivor, Chopped, sabotage, vendettas, nihilism, capitalism
Out of context review quote: “There are some things one doesn't do for money, even in America…”
Rating: 5 out of 5 thumbs down