My name is KC, and tomorrow is the one day of the year I am not allowed to celebrate my UnBirthday. This day is usually filled with cake, presents, and streamers… sad times. And I am an Anomaly.
Let’s not beat around the bush with fancy introductory paragraphs:
I am a huge fan of Chris Hardwick. I respect him as a comedian; I love his podcast; I’m re-reading his productivity book The Nerdist Way; I’m equal halves, “It’s okay to not like his comedy” and, “How DARE you speak ill of your king?!” I just really dig him.
I had the pleasure of having enough money to see him perform stand-up live a few weeks ago, as a part of his Funcomfortable tour. The theatre was filled with fans wearing @midnight shirts and screaming “POINTS” when he made his entrance, there was a chick wearing a TARDIS backpack. His crowd was there and ready to laugh.
Bias aside, he was amazing to watch.
In his first stand up special, Mandroid, on Comedy Central, he mostly focused on nerd-based humor, such as the mechanical pencil stabbing at Comic Con, Quidditch talk vs. football talk, and so on. I really enjoyed his special, but once you use that material in your stand up special, it’s gone forever. You can never return to those jokes again. And comics like Louis CK or the late, great George Carlin record a special every year, therefore being tasked with finding new things to say and discovering something deeper about what they think of themselves and society. After all, the stand up comic is our modern day philosopher under the guise of a jester.
And Hardwick finds those deeper, underlying things. While he still retains his nerdtacular personality, he is also getting more personal. Apart from the blue comedy that is extremely popular nowadays (which I enjoy, not gonna lie), he’s talking about his anxiety with heights, his fear of having kids, alcoholism, relationships, the loss of his dad, how it feels to be a forty-year-old man wearing a Kigurumi. I found myself relating to a lot of his set this time around, as opposed to Mandroid.
The best part about Hardwick’s comedy–and just Chris Hardwick, in general–is that he is extremely self-aware. “I know why the trolls come after me,” he says, “Look at me, I look like a douchebag… and I get paid to be a zombie therapist.” And because of that self-awareness, I find myself relating to his stories, many of which involve him turning a situation into an awkward joke. I do that in life. A lot.
Maybe it’s genetics, maybe not, but while some people enjoy laughing and making jokes, there are those who find the humor in the most serious and dire of situations. And it’s clear that whether or not it’s nature or nurture or both, Hardwick has that mindset.
Obviously, this isn’t really a review if I’m inclined to believe the subject of said review is already amazing. So what is this? Well, it’s me putting together the pieces of my own puzzle through the art and experiences of someone else. Because that’s the joy of comedy. So check out the Funcomfortable Tour Tumblr to see if Chris Hardwick is passing through your area before filming his special in January. I highly recommend it.
Funcomfortable Tour Dates: http://funcomfortabletour.tumblr.com
An early take of the Kigurumi bit can be seen here! (BEWARE OF LANGUAGE! Slightly NSFW).