Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)
While Trevor Noah, like many comedians today, dabbles in observations on politics, traveling and life, there isn’t a lot of yelling, screaming, cursing and what have you. It’s about the storytelling, the use of accents, and the type of comedy you hear from friends every day. Just laced up well into an hour long special.
Characters & Storyline
Over the course of the hour, the primary topic Trevor really hones and fixates on is being an immigrant. Not solely in terms of him immigrating to America but the idea of traveling to a foreign country and experiencing their culture, the different connotations that come with accents, and the strangeness of cultural exchange or an attempt at dominance. One example would be the British taking over India and picturing how that conversation went when one of the Queen’s representatives first spoke to an Indian man.
Other topics include the usual praise of Barack Obama over his swag and how Trevor imagines Barack developed his iconic way of speaking. Alongside that is Trevor not being able to understand how “Don’t be a pussy” could be an insult which could push someone to do something as well as how women could use a Russian accent in their lives.
[…] an accent is not a measure of intelligence. It’s just someone speaking your language with the rules of theirs.
– Trevor Noah: Afraid of the Dark
The Accents and Storytelling
When it comes to observational comedians, those who are telling a story, often embellishment, theatrics, that is what pushes you over to laughter. For Trevor, it is his various accents. From Indian to French, from Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama, Trevor doesn’t flail around and scream to drive his point him. He isn’t a clown on stage but like a theater actor. One who knows how to play multiple characters at once and through accent and posture help set the scene and setup personalities. The one which got the most laughs, in particular, was the topic of imagining the British colonizing India. His Indian accent was hilarious but on top of that was also this odd story. The idea of a pale man, speaking of this foreign place called Great Britain, of some queen god ordained, and this Indian man trying to understand all this. Why is it called Great Britain? Which god are you talking about? Why are you so pale? Do your people even need X-Ray machines when they can diagnose your illness just by looking at you? These jokes, alongside the use of a Russian accent, were hilarious.
It Wasn’t All That Political
Despite Trevor hosting The Daily Show, the special isn’t an examination of American politics or even politics around the world. Which I was thankful for since I, and I’m sure you too, don’t necessarily want every piece of comedy to get political.
Some of His Material Seemed Sort of Dated
With Trevor talking about a rumor of Idris Elba being considered to become James Bond and imagining what it was like when Obama met Nelson Mandela, some of this jokes seemed like they were stuff he came up with a long time ago but just didn’t get them on a recording.
Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing)
With 28 heart laughs, I think you’ll enjoy this special. Note, there is nothing which will become a meme or you’ll possibly repeat to your friends ad nauseam, but that’s simply because that isn’t Trevor’s style. He isn’t the type of comedian which will make you laugh until your stomach hurts or tries to be over the top to be memorable. He is for the consistent chuckle with the occasional escalation to a serious laugh. He is a more conversational comedian than one who is talking at you, if not yelling and screaming at you. Which, I’ll admit, probably won’t be everyone’s style. But it is nice to get something different every once in a while. Hence the Worth Seeing label for while comedy is often vulgar, political, or performed to be primed for Tumblr/Twitter memes, Trevor takes his own path and you got to appreciate him not being lazy and mimicking everyone else but actually trying to develop his own style. Even if it is the type of style which doesn’t implore you to repeat viewings.