Context – Everybody’s Working For the Weekend
Today I learned that stand-up is on Spotify. This knowledge paired with the Grammy’s having a category for stand-up gives me all kinds of license to talk about stand-up from time to time.
If I could convince myself that this extends to Netflix specials I’d instead be talking about the new Dave Chappelle specials, because they just came out today and Netflix isn’t banned at my work so that was really the soundtrack to my day. Rachel Feinstein’s ablum was an attempt to justify shaking up my routine and writing about comedy.
On his WTF Podcast Marc Maron has shared his comedy rating philosophy on more than one occasion. And because I have trouble separating my real relationships with the words that spew in from my earbuds, I often pass this off as my own metric. Then I feel guilty and bring up that I listen to WTF yet again. I need to diversify my podcasts, all my anecdotes come from one place. Maron’s philosophy is that if a movie can get him in a deep belly laugh or two it’s probably worth the $10 he spent on the ticket. This is usually his defense for liking Will Farrell, as if that needed defending. Watch Elf you haters, Will Farrell is amazing.
Having thus internalized Maron’s philosophy and bastardized it for my own purposes, I rate stand-up similarly. If I’m not peppering in a chuckle or two every few minutes you better drop two or three belly-laughing bombs before the hour is over, because I came to laugh and I’m giving you my precious, precious clicks. Sometimes I even go to comedy shows and put my money where my mouse is.
Rachel Feinstein does not pass this test. For me, anyway. And since this blog is about me mine is the only opinion that matters right now.
It’s not that Rachel is bad at stand-up. She tells tight stories complete with call-backs and a not-annoying amount of repetition. I can relate to a lot of her jokes, especially when she isn’t talking about sex (try as I might I’m just not into dudes). Her strength lies in her voices, which help give her stories and characters a bit more depth than they would otherwise have. Because of this feature, I’m willing to bet this would be funnier if I saw it instead of just heard it. Delivery is often in the physicality.
It’s just that for all that effort I got maybe 2-4 soft laughs. Nothing had me in stitches. Nothing changed my worldview. Nothing challenged my notions of normalcy. It was just kind of there.
Her intro is an endorsement from Amy Schumer, who’s stand-up I’ve never really cared for. She’s excellent at sketch, but I never go back to her stand-up.
I am excited to go back to Dave Chappelle’s though. I need to know how much of my enjoyment was just pure glee that he’s back doing stand-up and how much of the material stands up on it’s own. I’m sure I’ll bring it up again later.