With Nate Bargatze
With Fortune Feimster
With Deon Cole
With Nikki Glaser
With Beth Stelling
With Dan Soder
With Netflix recently announcing their desire to bring more original comedy to their streaming service, The Standups is an interesting series showcasing new comedic talent in the stand up scene. Of course, when it comes to what constitutes as good and bad comedy a lot is open to personal preference and taste but thankfully The Standups does feature a pretty broad range of different comedy styles that should please most people. With each comedian given 30 minutes to work with, there’s an eclectic range of jokes here and the short run time for each comic helps to keep the showcase short and sweet.
Each episode begins with a short burst of music as each fresh, unknown comedian is introduced to the stage before performing their set. Although there is a little improvisation, most of what’s showcased here is scripted and ranges from the shockingly crude (Nikki Glaser), boisterously proud (Fortune Feimster) to hilariously dry and witty (Beth Stelling). Of course, with such a diverse range of comics showcased, there will inevitably be some comedians you automatically gravitate toward and others you dislike. As a personal preference, Beth Stelling and Deon Cole were the most promising comics here with Nikki Glaser’s crude set the least enjoyable. To be fair, their set was nestled right between the two best, Beth and Deon, so perhaps some of that is exacerbated by these excellent comedy performances. Both managed to nail their cleverly written, confident sets tackling a range of subjects with Deon in particular layering his jokes with a hard-hitting societal viewpoint without it ever overpowering the comedy.
Although there are better stand up comedy options out there, The Standups does do a good job of showing off a range of fresh-faced comics in an easy to digest time frame. Instead of an hour worth of material, the smart choice of having 6 completely different comedy styles at 30 minutes each keeps the pacing quick and the jokes coming thick and fast. This is particularly helpful when a certain comic isn’t quite resonating with your comedic preferences with the knowledge that a completely new comic is likely to have a completely different tone and pacing.
Of course, its worth noting that these are clearly unpolished and very fresh faces in the comedy scene that haven’t quite honed their sets to perfection. Some of the delivery is a little rough-around-the-edges and there’s a few awkward pauses here and there which won’t be to everyone’s taste, especially those more accustomed to watching established faces in the scene. In terms of potential, The Standups provides a promising platform for up and coming faces in the industry in an easy to digest time frame. Although some of the acts are a little hit or miss, it’s admirable that Netflix at least provides this opportunity for stand ups to get their work out there. Whether we’ll see any of these comics make it in the big time is open for debate but if you’re interested to see some early work from potentially promising comedians, you can’t really go wrong here.