“Whitney Cummings: Can I Touch It?” has interesting thoughts in it, but you’ll forget most of them once the sex robot is brought out.
|Screenplay By||Whitney Cummings|
|Genre(s)||Stand Up Comedy|
|Good If You Like||
|Isn’t For You If You||
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Whitney Cummings: Can I Touch It? Plot Summary & Review
In her 4th stand-up taping, Cummings deals with the fallout of the #MeToo movement by looking at it from both sides. The positive aspect of men becoming aware of their actions, yet also the complication of being a woman in such a space. Not just in terms of illuminating men now that there is this possibility they are listening now, but also reflecting on how both sides can improve. Which is a bit difficult for when does empowerment cross over into entitlement? At what point are we being self-righteous? Never mind, why is it some don’t get that methods and weapons for protection don’t need to be gendered? They just need to work?
But what really may leave a mark on you isn’t Cummings’ jokes but her bringing out a robot, a sex doll, and her audition to be a spokesperson for a company you haven’t heard of – yet.
The Whole Sex Doll Angle
Initially, this topic was going to be put “On The Fence” since it overshadowed Cummings’ comedy. For, at least ¼ of the taping seemed geared towards how sex robots could play a role in the future. Be it what role women would play, men or women feeling or being replaceable, and her advocating how they could be a good thing. Even to the point of putting her money where her mouth is and bringing out her own doll, which was eerily similar to her, as part of the show.
And that, for me, was one of the main reasons this, originally, was going to be something “On The Fence.” Bear Claw, as she is comically named, is such a distraction that even when Cummings uses her for a bit, you can’t get past how natural the robot’s responses are. Much less that Cummings built up and talked about robots being part of people’s lives then having one brought on stage. Yet, with a “Making Of” section at the end, what was once “On The Fence” became a highlight. Granted, at the cost of the majority of the taping, but in seeing Bear Claw made, training her to perform stand up, it pushes you to want to learn more. Heck, maybe even see Cummings enter the tech world the way many comics have entered politics. That is, breaking down the complex with humor and yet always presenting a cautious warning.
On The Fence
The Robot Eclipses The Show
Setting the whole robot thing aside, I must admit a lot of what Cummings talked about may feel like jokes and commentary you’ve heard before. Which isn’t to say she is a joke thief, or doesn’t have interesting insight. It’s just, as much as she is holding herself accountable and not producing an hour of material of generalizations, which she admits she did in the past, she doesn’t have jokes which hit hard. Cummings does have a lot of moments that could make good conversation pieces, like the nicknames women give each other, the whole gold-digging thing, how men walk through life v. women, and when does empowerment become entitlement? However, then that robot comes in and lessens the impact of nearly everything she said. Making it so Bear Claw goes from what should have been bonus content to the main attraction.
Whitney Cummings: Can I Touch It? Overall: Positive (Watch This)
The issue I wrestle with when it comes to Whitney Cummings: Can I Touch It? is whether or not Bear Claw lessened the impact of Cummings’ material or if it was strong in the first place? For while she was smart to end things with Bear Claw, since that will likely get people talking, it made everything said before building up to her reveal a bit of a blur.
Yet, I will say, the reason this is something to watch is because Cummings went the extra mile. For a lot of her topics, while insightful, aren’t memorable. They are things worth a thought, but none of them really hit hard enough so that when you move onto doing something else, they’ll still linger. But, with that robot, making jokes about it, and a mini-doc on its creation, she leaves a lasting impression. Also, she pushes the idea of how interesting would it be for comedians to enter the documentary world the same way they have done politics? Making it so mundane topics, which formerly were a bore or overly complicated, now have someone breaking it down and making it more easy to consume?