Great Netflix Comedy Specials

Listened to some great Netflix Comedy Specials this week......Chelsea Peretti's "One of the Greats" and Jen Kirkman's "I'm Gonna Die Alone (And I feel Fine).  Both of these ladies did a fine, fine job.  Peterri's may have been a bit finer.

So yeah, I guess that I listened to these specials with Bonnie McFarlane's "Women Aren't Funny" in the back of my mind....
McFarlane says in this documentary that there are only 10 women headliners in the country right now.  Hmmmm.....now is that really accurate?  Nuh-uh.  Think I could name way more than 10 right now......Kathy Griffin, Amy Schumer, the two ladies mentioned above, Wanda Sikes, Maria Bamford, that pretty lady who performs sometimes with white gloves......hm, ugh.  wow.  I'm drawing a blank.  But that's just me.  Trust me, there's way WAY more women headliners out there.  But McFarlane probably does have a point.  I once went to a stand up show of about 10 comics, each doing 5-7 minutes.  Guess how many women there were?  Only one.  Women, it seems, are way under-represened in stand-up comedy.

And perhaps undeservedly.  Because I did laugh out loud during these specials.  Women are funny.  And not in some sort of let's-give-her-the-benefit-of-the-doubt-and-force-yourself-to-laugh kind of a way.  They just can be funny.

Here's my thoughts on Peretti's performance......overall it was really good.  I laughed out loud a lot.  Maybe she just appeals to my comic sensibilities, and speaking of people who've been influenced by Letterman.....some of the silliness in her special reminded me a little of him.  The camera would span to the audience, and at times there'd be a dog in one of the chairs, or a big stuffed animal, or a man with a picnic basket sprinkling salt onto a deviled egg.  Sometimes this would seem funny to me; at other times  it seemed more just bizarre and annoying.  I think that later in the special it started to seem a lot funnier, after I'd warmed up to Peretti.  At the beginning of the special she's driving around town on a motorcycle.  And that wasn't very funny to me.  The stand-up itself; however.......yeah not bad.  First off, I really liked the shirt that she was wearing.  It was flowery and kind of dressy.  And her material wasn't hugely dependent on vulgarity.  What did she talk about....let's see, family, her nose, her social anxieties.  She could get very meta and say things like "good for you all for getting up and coming out to see me tonight.  If I were you I'd have stay at home...." then she'd get into a bit about her domestic life.  Yeah, like I said, she was silly.  So maybe it's just a personal thing, to say that she's very good.  But then, all comedy is pretty personal.

Onto the next one......Jen Kirkman, "I'm Going to Die Alone and I Feel Fine".  Honestly, I didn't find her quite as funny.  But maybe the theme of her stand up and the material she covered I liked, perhaps more than Peretti's.  Kirkman is about 40 and recently divorced from a brief marriage.  And some of what she says about the narcissism/materialism of the actual wedding, as well as some of what she said about the way married people treat single people was quite good.  It's a relief to hear a woman say that she's not concerned about getting married and having babies, and that she doesn't feel like she's received the consolation prize in that she's a single 40 year old woman.  So yeah, these issues were a bit heavier than anything Peretti seemed to cover, but it wasn't quite as funny.
Although one point I'll make, and perhaps I'm being a bit of humorless here--40 years old is by no means the end of a person's life.  And Kirkman looks great.  She quite likely will marry sometime in the next decade and so won't be dying alone.  What I mean to say is that the title of her special seems to indicate that a woman has an expiration date.  Which is a bit of an outdated notion.

So there you have it.

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