It’s been a rainy, gloomy past couple of days, which usually calls for a me party featuring a blanket, wine, and a black and white film to drool over. This week has been a tiring one though, which means all I want to do is laugh once I’m home. After watching John Mulaney’s New in Town three days in a row (you wouldn’t be judging me if you’d seen it), I decided I needed to mix things up, and watched Netflix’s latest comedy special– Chelsea Handler’s Uganda Be Kidding Me: Live.
I’d seen Handler’s E! show, and read excerpts from some of her books (the most recent, which shares the title of this special, is her fourth NYT Bestseller), though I’ve never watched her stand-up. To me, Handler is the friend who says everything you’re too afraid to say yourself. This can be embarrassing, liberating, cringe-worthy, or downright disgusting depending on the context, and this stand-up routine has it all. Handler’s strength is that through it all she is honest and relatable. Friends and her family are all fair targets, though it is clear the one most mocked is Handler herself, which I appreciate.
Handler’s stories range from the mundane (I laughed the hardest during a story about a pretzel– yes, a pretzel) to the extreme, and her caricatures of loved ones hold no punches (read: her father- gross). She also employs one of my favorite styles, which is telling a childhood story with the language and tone of her adult self. Her dogs make an appearance. The last segment is so outrageous you can’t help but laugh.
But, if you don’t like crude humor, sex jokes/gags (plenty of those), or vulgarity, Handler isn’t your style. You will hate this. She pushes the limits and offends plenty of people with her work, but Handler’s routine is also undeniably funny, which many featured on Netflix are not (particularly, for whatever reason, its female comedian specials). Uganda Be Kidding Me is not at the top of my list (remember Mulaney? Or check out Aziz Ansari’s specials), but it provided laughs (and cringes) on a rainy evening, so I can’t complain. I can’t say much more without spoiling the fun, but if you need a laugh (or a few), this could be one to watch.