I don’t know if you can find a more generic and opaque title for something from The Standups on Netflix, but here comes our third season. What’s that? It is a collection of six new half-hour comedy specials filmed in the exact location over several days. They gathered in downtown Manhattan for this season and were filmed this summer when the COVID coast was clear!
Each of all the three seasons of The Standups features a mix of comedians at various stages in their careers. Some also get their first shot at a half-hour or streaming TV show. While others have hourly specials and other credits under their belt. This year’s harvest includes half an hour of Brian Simpson, Naomi Experigin, Mark Normand, Janelle James, Dusty Slay, and Melissa Vilaseñor.
Brian Simpson started with a bang:
His current observations of how pandemic stimulus checks somehow make the argument against reparations for slavery are somewhat controversial. “It’s not a joke, and it’s just a solution.” The first 15 minutes of its half-hour are fantastic, with more race-based wound healing solutions.
Naomi Experigin, a Los Angeles-based New Yorker. Who you might know as Carol from Mythic Quest (if you haven’t seen the Comedy Central special half an hour before). The shows why she’s an old soul who prefers to disguise herself as a major. A character in a Nancy Myers film, or at least the type of woman who needs a break from Maui. Note to self: while you can take a vacation from your vacation destination. You can’t adopt a dog from a shelter and expect them to get rid of your old habits soon.
Mark Normand is a millennium version of NSFW’s Jerry Seinfeld. Comedy is used to watch and act out words to focus on s*x. The culture of connection, and racial and religious differences. If you can imagine Seinfeld comparing a pu*sy to a university admissions office. Then you’ve got Normand’s voice in your head.
Since appearing on Netflix’s The Comedy Lineup, the streaming giant’s pre-pandemic 15-minute comedy set, Janelle James has partnered roles on Showtimes Black Monday and now on ABC’s new sitcom Abbott Elementary. His half-hour was the most pandemic-focused of the six, with jokes about how he was spending more time than ever with his two teenage sons thanks to quarantine. He also has current jokes about billionaires going into space and the absurdity of cancelling Aunt Jemima. “If COVID is a test for humanity, we are close to failing.
Dusty Slay, in his truck hat, long hair, and wool to match his catchphrase:
“We had fun” seems like a hoax. He even nodded and asked the audience, “How many people thought my hair was in that hat?” But now Slay is different from the kid who grew up in a trailer park in Alabama. On the one hand, he was no longer a dark drunkard. But he has a story.
Lastly, we have Villanesor, who joined Saturday Night Live five years ago. Has it been five years? After an introductory role as Dolly Parton singing affirmations about herself every day. Villanyor settled into a routine that mainly focused on her family life. With prolonged imitations of her mother and Abuelite as celebrities rather than jokes about her being a second-generation Mexican-American. Who had not yet learned Spanish?
It’s no secret that all the quality of Netflix’s hour-long comedy special hasn’t remained as dominant as the streaming giant believes. Sometimes less is more. A very focused and fun half-hour makes everyone so much happier than hours and hours of twisty material that viewers can click on to see what else the algorithm has to offer. And if you like one of those comedians enough, chances are you’ll see them writing and performing themselves for another half hour or hour. Until then, please wait half an hour. Regardless of your standup taste, you’re sure to find someone here that you’ll like.