"For obvious reasons, I’ve been thinking a lot about the way comedy and the language of violence have become long-standing bedfellows," says David Dennis Jr. "A great comic knows how to deliver a dynamic punchline. And if they did phenomenally well during a set, they killed. Several comedians have long adopted the aggression we use to describe their art form and have defiantly stuck to the notion that effective comedians have to actively be fighting against something. Oftentimes that something is a group of people who a lot of us already pick on, or in comedy parlance, 'punch.' And now that the punched have more avenues to express their refusal to sit back and take it, comedians are struggling to understand how to evolve. Jerrod Carmichael’s latest HBO stand-up special, Rothaniel, is a revelatory, brilliantly uncomfortable and emotional exploration of the self that feels like the evolution these comedians have been pretending is impossible. Rothaniel, and the Saturday Night Live monologue Carmichael delivered a few days after the special went live, comes out of nowhere as an answer to the comedians’ — and their fans’ — plights while offering a future in which comedy can do more than make us laugh at people who don’t deserve our ridicule."
TOPICS: Jerrod Carmichael, HBO Max, Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel, Louis CK: Sincerely, Louis CK, Standup Comedy