The Standups really has something for everyone, and depending on your cup of tea, you may find any one if not all these six comics to your liking.
By Sean David Hartman
It used to be that the half-hour comedy programming was a style belonging to Comedy Central, or even further back HBO. But Netflix has been trying to conquer the media world in all forms, and their lust for comedic talent has led them to form The Standups, six half-hour sets from a variety of comics. And what a variety of talents. The Standups really has something for everyone, and depending on your cup of tea, you may find any one if not all these six comics to your liking:
Joe List—The Dorky Loner
Joe List provides the humor of the self-deprecating dork, poking fun at his looks, and at people making fun of his looks, in humor that borders on the meta. List talks about his history with bullying, discrediting the infamous cliché bully victims tend to get: “They’re just jealous.”
“I don’t think that’s what’s happening,” said List.
“Maybe they wish their head was too big for their body,” he continued, “but I don’t think so.”
Joe List is the type of comedian you would want to feel better about your life.
Gina Yashere—The LGBTQ Black Briton
You may know Gina Yashere as the Senior British Correspondent for The Daily Show, Gina had a raunchy set, dealing with racial issues, growing up with an overprotective Nigerian mother, and her admiration of American culture.
Gina provides a unique vulgarity that could only be expected from a lesbian Black Briton. She is certainly not a comedian you want to have on when your kids are around, but if you’re down for a good, profane laugh, I highly recommend.
Kyle Kinane—The Midwesterner
That’s how Kyle Kinane begins his show.
One look at Kyle Kinane makes you feel you are watching a homeless drunkard, and his humor seems somehow to match his unique style. Kinane has a blue collar comedy style with a more Northern flair, sort of like a Midwestern Bill Engvall.
Kinane has had several hour-long specials and multiple TV appearances, making him one of the more successful comics on this list. And with his somehow smart non-sophistication, you can see why.
Rachel Feinstein—The Bad Bitch
Rachel Feinstein is a protégé of Amy Schumer, and sadly, it shows in her previous specials. Though certainly not as dependent on vaginal humor as Schumer does now, Feinstein has a style more like classic Schumer.
Her set on The Standups, however, seemed to be less a mimic of Schumer, but rather her own unique “bad bitch” style. It was more real, it was more authentic.
I was never really a fan of Feinstein but she definitely brought her own style to the party and is certainly just as enjoyable as the rest.
Brent Morin—The Introspective
Brent may be the odd man out in this comedy lineup, primarily because he engaged in a ranting style combined with eccentric moments of introspection that seemed to be less of a comedy show and more a series of bipolar episodes being played out in real time.
This certainly did not make him a bad comedian, Morin is certainly funny and brought me to laughter. His bit with the Uber driver is the most memorable bit in this entire series. But his humor was a sad mixture of laughter and pain that tugged on your empathy strings. Those types of stories are good, but they are more for one-man shows, like Hasan Minhaj’s Homecoming (also on Netflix).
But for a comedy series, where you just watched four comics in a row providing the proper balance of pain and pleasure leading to an enjoyable experience, Brent Morin had you laughing before being extremely concerned. It was sadly not a good balance.
Aparna Nancherla—The Eccentric
Aparna Nancherla is easily the least-known comic of this bunch. Most of the comics had at least one-hour special, but Nancheria is a relative newcomer to comedy fame, yet is somehow the funniest of the comics in the set. Nancherla brings her own unique style of awkwardness, bring in non-sequiturs and even a PowerPoint presentation in a sort of unusual TED talk that combines social anxiety with social commentary in a manner that has her bound to be one of the greats.
Sean David Hartman is a reporter for the Central Florida Post, covering both politics and entertainment issues. He is a political operative who describes himself as a “bleeding-heart libertarian”. Hartman is autistic and bipolar and is an ardent defender of the constitutional rights of those with mental health conditions.