Standup Comedian is the second hour-long comedy special Martin has released. I’ve watched numerous comedy specials over the years. I’ve seen many I’ve loved, cheered, and even loathed. When I first saw Martin go through his routine in a previous special, I simply shrugged it off and forgot about it a few minutes later. I figured he would be one of the many comedians that would fizzle away into obscurity. But then I found out this guy has a strong following, and I couldn’t understand it, wondering when did drawing pictures become comedy?
When the time came and I was handed this special, I was a little hesitant, but I’m always willing to give a comedian another shot (with the exception of Katt Williams). So after watching it, what did I think? An enthusiastic shoulder shrug. It started off strong, but then it just became one-liner after one-liner. The kind of jokes that if your friend told you the line it would be amusing, but when a professional says it you just expect a little more. And that’s the problem, the entire time I just kept expecting more, and his audience should feel about the same. I appreciate dry humor, but this just didn’t work for me.
Need some examples? At one point he has a bit about silent letters working together. Perhaps if my grammar teacher would have injected the notion of the letters wanting to surprise people in words with silent letters like the “G” in “alright”, then I’d be a mildly amused student. But as a member of the audience, for a comedy special, I should hope you’re expecting more.
Fortunately everything isn’t all bad. His comments about people who use the term “spinning in their grave” and his input about training bras were pretty funny. His use of the sketch pad was mildly amusing, the graph displaying how the more one looks like Jesus the more likely they are to have pot was the highlight of that bit. But the bright points are not enough to forgive the rest of the show.
In small doses he’s fine, but when his act gets stretched out it simply begins to feel strained and forced. If the special was cut down to only 30 minutes then possibly I’d feel differently, but with a 60-minute running time, this act was a chore to sit through.