I’ve watched John Mulaney’s stand up special New in Town four times. I think it’s so classic. He spills mustard on his shirt in the intro! Remember when he said that when he was younger, he thought quicksand would be a much bigger problem than it actually is? Remember his perfect impersonation of Ice – T on Law and Order: SVU? Every time I see an online article from the New York Post, I think about the way he made fun of the publication. If you haven’t seen New in Town, you really should. It’s so timeless.
I recently watched Michael Che’s Netflix stand up special, Matters. It’s not timeless like New in Town, but rather, it’s a special especially curated for its time. Che discusses modern, current day issues. For example, gentrification has occurred more commonly in recent years. Che said that it shows the power of white women, explaining that all they have to do is move somewhere and the value of the area increases. I had never thought of it like that, but I guess he’s right. He also touches on the black lives matter movement and the Orlando pulse shooting.
Che offers his take on this year’s presidental election, though it was taped before Trump was elected. The audience booed him when he said that he likes Donald Trump. But they should have waited for him to continue speaking. He explains that he doesn’t want Trump to be president. However, he wants him to be his friend because Trump seems like a horrible person and he feels that horrible people make the best friends. I think it’s tongue in cheek. Che said that Obama is a good president, but he’s not sure if he’d want Obama as a friend because he seems stern. This reminds me of when some people would call Clinton unlikable. Well, according to Che, a person doesn’t have to seem likable in order to be a successful president.
I think Matters is the special we all need in 2016. Some unfortunate things have happened lately. The electoral college of the United States elected Donald Trump. Orlando suffered a deadly shooting in June at Pulse. Michael Che discussed some somber issues in Matters while also being very funny. He has opinions to offer us, but he’s able to make us laugh while getting his points across. I think he is so brilliant.
Regarding gun control, Che said that he doesn’t know much about the issue because he lives in New York. “I don’t have to dress up like a tree [to hunt for food],” he stated. I didn’t get it at first, but then I realized that he’s talking about the camouflage people wear to hunt for animals to eat. Oh my gosh. Dress up like a tree. I found that to be so hilarious.
Matters is a special that made me laugh, but also made me think. It’s a blend of perspectives and jokes. I guess the amount of material related to current issues means that Matters won’t age as well as other specials. Years from now, the jokes won’t make as much sense. But that’s alright, because it’s perfect for present day.