sat 30/05/2020

Michelle Wolf: Joke Show, Netflix review - edgy and original material | reviews, news & interviews

Michelle Wolf: Joke Show, Netflix review - edgy and original material

Michelle Wolf: Joke Show, Netflix review - edgy and original material

US comic takes no prisoners

Michelle Wolf talks about the eternal battle between men and women

Michelle Wolf, best known to UK audiences as the comic who upset Donald Trump with some smart barbs aimed at his staff at the 2018 White House Correspondents' Dinner, has done some occasional dates this side of the pond (plus a run at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe), so her fans will be grateful for Joke Show,

Michelle Wolf, best known to UK audiences as the comic who upset Donald Trump with some smart barbs aimed at his staff at the 2018 White House Correspondents' Dinner, has done some occasional dates this side of the pond (plus a run at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe), so her fans will be grateful for Joke Show, a Netflix special, where she is on top form.

She starts with a very strong section on the modern trend for people to get offended by just about everything, which must be a pain in the backside for a comic such as Wolf, much of whose material is edgy. Yet instead of laying into the easily offended (well, she does, a bit) – “We get mad before we get logical” – she turns the reaction to an Instagram post about seeing some otters in the wild (innocent enough you may think) into a brilliantly surreal take on the absence of the concept of rape in the animal kingdom.

Wolf pulls off the same trick of starting with the mundane, taking a gag down a well trodden path and steering it into new and revelatory territory, with her takes on, among other things, how men and women are different, if men had periods, and how childbirth is like a car crash for a woman's body.

Her routine about what would happen if men menstruated is a smart and original  take on the subject. Guys would be boastful of having a heavy flow, she says – “At college they used to call me the flowmeister” – and manufacturers would start selling tampons with superhero figures attached to the string.

Elsewhere she throws in some observations about what the Goldilocks tale is really about, why childhood should be terrible, white female privilege, and why sleep apnoea proves that men are idiots. In other comics' hands some of this could be hack, but Wolf, with a pleasing combination of whimsy, wit and sharpness, produces some memorable gags.

Wolf also knows how to turn the personal into the political, and her material makes its point while putting us on edge without alienating the audience. Yes, men get some stick here, but so do women. And the former writer/contributor to The Daily Show ends the hour with a sly Trump joke – one we've all been waiting for.

The routine about what would happen if men menstruated is smart and original

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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