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I'm not fond of this trend in standup comedy.

My heart goes out to standup comics. You've got to be a special breed of psychotic and funny to subject yourself to that kind of pain and judgment for a living.

Sometimes I fancy myself a humorist, but I dunno about that... comedy's tough.  It's so much easier to just be an asshole.  That's why I have a blog.  I've always thought of blogging as standup comedy for cowards.

Anyway, my point is, I mean no offense to anybody who's actually a comic when I start whining today.  I understand that your job is hard and a dummy like me is the last person who should be giving advice.

But what's the deal with comedy special titles?  They all suck.

The thing that brought this to mind most recently was this delightful ad Netflix dumped in my inbox last week:


"No Offense," huh?  Oh, let me guess... it's ironic because some people will totally take offense!  Is he a take-no-prisoners dude who speaks his mind and doesn't care what the PC Police have to say about it?  Please say yes.  I'm so tired of watching all this standup where people hold back what they're really thinking.  Oh, oh, maybe he's even got opinions about men and women and how they are often different from each other!

Oh, and he's even got brandy and a cigar!  And that smirk!  Oh, Theo, I sure would love some of your 'tude! Admit one for jokes, please!

In fairness to Mr. Von, whose work I've never seen in my life, this isn't a problem that's unique to him.  Every comedy special has a shitty title and an even shittier poster.  If you've ever said one sarcastic thing on stage, it's like a law that you pick some snotty-ass jibe to plaster all over the place.

Take No Prisoners!
Telling It Like It Is
Did I Offend Somebody?

Even the comics I like still have bad titles.  "Chewed Up" is a great special, but a bad title.  Ditto "Rules of Enragement."  I even put off watching anything by John Mulaney for a really long time because I thought "New In Town" sounded too precious, and he's hilarious.

Oh, and if you're a fat comedian?  Oof.  Get ready for a new level of shitty.  You're either "More to Love" or "Too Much to Handle" or something else I don't have time for.  They might as well just call the next one "Fat Baby Man" and get it over with.

I don't understand.  Is there an ad wiz out there somewhere who's convinced people won't know they're watching standup comedy unless they feel like punching somebody first?

It's so bad that I've internalized it as part of the comedy process.  When I was first starting out this blog, I kept thinking I had to write things as snarkily as possible and I even had a couple of really wretched labels for some of my posts.  Like if I even remotely touched on politics, I'd tag the post with, "Am I Being Political?"

Jesus.  Nobody gives a shit.  Just call it "Politics" and move on, asshole.

Long story short, I don't think I'd make it as a standup comic.  The minute my agent showed me the poster he just commissioned, I'd curl up in a ball in my hotel room and never leave.