I generally do not enjoy standup comedy. You see, I typically find the jokes a bit (or very) offensive1 or just not really funny. Often, the jokes are just low level humor. But, occasionally, I’ll hear a joke that’s actually hysterical.
Netflix has been hosting a series of comedy specials. I’ve watched a few with mixed results. But the last two comedians I watched, Hasan Minhaj2 , and Hari Kondabolu3, not only had some really funny jokes, they were sharing their humor to make some very important statements about values and beliefs.
Their humor actually required a lot of the audience. In fact, Hasan Minhaj, currently a writer and Senior Correspondent on The Daily Show, was difficult for me to keep up with because he makes so many contemporary external references, many of which I was not familiar with since I’m not twenty-something. Dude is crazy smart.
Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette
But the last comedy special I watched was comedian Hannah Gadsby’s show Nanette. Hannah is a comedian from down under, way down under. She’s from Tasmania. (I loved my visit to Tasmania.)
Hannah apparently just won three of the most prestigious national and international awards for comedy.4 Immediately after winning the most prestigious of those awards, she travelled back to Australia and was filmed live giving her show, Nanette, at the Sidney Opera House. That live show is the Netflix special I watched.
Now, I’ve written this post for one reason: to insist that you watch Hannah Gadsby’s show Nanette. I rarely insist a person watch anything, but this comedy show is on the must-see list. In a future post, I’m going to reflect on her show, Nanette, and that post will contain spoilers. But I don’t want to spoil your watching the show for the very first time. You need to experience her on your own terms the first time you see Nanette.
Hannah Gadsby’s show Nanette isn’t just excellent. It’s genius. I couldn’t get it out of my head for weeks after watching it. And then the reviews began pouring in from the New York Times, New Yorker, The Huffington Post, The Atlantic, Vox, The Telegraph, The Guardian, and on and on. People are raving about her show.
The NYT calls Hannah “a major new voice in comedy” and says that Nanette is “a ferocious attack on comedy itself.” Others state that she has upended the comedy routine, which will be forever changed. I just don’t think any of these comments are hyperbole. I think she has done precisely that.
The show is for mature audiences but isn’t the pointless, humorless shock comedy I referred to earlier. Presented in more or less three parts, the show will give you some great laughs. But the show has the potential to leave you profoundly changed despite her comment stating otherwise.
The Official Netflix trailer is below. And I will leave it at this. Stop the presses. Grab your remote and go watch Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette on Netflix.