Published Jan 08, 2019For his English Canadian segment of Netflix's ambitious Comedians of the World series, K. Trevor Wilson (above), in a somewhat devilish move, devotes his entire set to talking about shit. Shitting one's pants, weaponizing bags of shit — all sorts of shit, delivered in his gruff, mountain man manner. He even names his special Talking Shit.
Wilson's relaxed attitude is emblematic of his colleagues' approach to this somewhat high-stakes series, which is to be playful with their time on the world's most pervasive platform for streaming content and comedy.
DeAnne Smith's Gentleman Elf is a clever exhibition for an ingenious comedian who charmingly delves into gender dynamics, sexuality and coming of age. Smith is an ace standup who hilariously and fearlessly delves into her lesbian life and struggles with depression, in a relatable manner. You marvel at her inventive equation for determining middle age, you laugh at the experience she had being slapped during a bikini wax, and you agree when she argues that perceptions about lesbians "scissoring" during sex are ludicrous.
Speaking of which, Ivan Decker's Underwater Scissors is a remarkably honed and tight set with revelatory observational insights. In his crisp suit, Decker looks like a banker, but his jokes are all written on thousand dollar bills. Man, his bit about being offered lobsters for sale before you board a plane at the Halifax airport, the cruelty of binge watching, and fallibility of zombie teeth, plus his whole run about microwaves and fast food — this whole set is brilliant.
With Beautifully Manic, Dave Merheje is indeed a spastic ball of energy, screaming and gesticulating wildly to mostly tell tales about his family and Lebanese heritage. As he begins, Merheje is so abrasively unhinged, yelling about hating baristas, he appears like a person having a rage episode whom you'd glance at but also quickly move away from. As he settles down and focuses, he gets into his family life, growing up first generation and not knowing how to speak English and revealing the racism his father faces at work; he becomes more endearing. He still engages in some hackery, employing accents when speaking as his parents, and some of his "immigrant parents are strange" stuff feels a bit old hat to dwell on for as long as he does. But Merheje can be credited for pouring his family's passion into his very personal set.
In fact, we learn a lot about some of Canada's most gifted comedians via Comedians of the World, (i.e. Wilson keeps his asshole squeaky clean) so good on Netflix for giving them space in this fascinating blast of programming. (Netflix)