STAND-UP TUESDAYS: Donald Glover

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Stand-Up Tuesdays is a weekly comedy spotlight written by the wonderfully talented Angie Frissore. Covering both known and unknown comics, Stand-up Tuesdays is your new source for all things funny.

This week, Angie puts a spotlight on Donald Glover. If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email utgjames@gmail.com.

I’m a little late to the game, I know, but I’ve finally gotten around to watching Donald Glover’s latest DVD, Weirdo – and while it made for an entertaining hour, I came away from the experience rather unimpressed. It’s not to say that the Community actor and rapper isn’t funny – his energetic stage presence and cleverly-crafted storytelling come together nicely to evoke some true laugh-out-loud moments.

“If I made sandwiches for a living and then I go home, and I make myself a sandwich,” Glover states, defending an instance in which he was caught listening to his own music, “no one in here’s gonna be like, ‘Getting a little conceited, aren’t’ we?’”

What’s slightly off-putting about Weirdo is the scene Glover shoots before the set in which he he’s worried about his mother seeing his act, as it’s explicit and dirty – clearly setting an expectation of some raunchy comedy. Sadly, the raciest Glover gets is describing a dream sequence involving Lady GaGa playing bass on a giant tampon which has the head of Tony Danza and the occasional fake-masturbation visual.

A good amount of Glover’s jokes stem from his experience growing up with a great amount of foster children passing through his home – one such gem features a tale of a trip to Home Depot with his father, brother, and one of the foster kids, Terry, in which Glover and his brother pretend to defecate in the toilet floor models.

“Terry went over,” Glover states, “and took a real shit.”

Glover does commit one of my biggest comedy pet peeves early on in Weirdo by bringing up his role on NBC’s Community as well as his music career. I’m all for multi-tasking and being famous for many things, but the comedy stage shouldn’t have to serve as a method of reminding people of that – especially not the audience, who have paid to see your performance and, most likely, are well aware of your successes.  It’s almost as annoying to me as sitting through Eddie Griffin’s “let’s talk about all the famous people I’ve hung out with” set.

Being an actor has its benefits in comedy, though, in that Glover is fun to watch physically. He’s not just on stage telling stories or jokes – he’s acting out each role, whether it’s the Trinidadian babysitter in the park or his little brother demanding his mother purchase Cocoa Puffs.  His high-energy act definitely contributes to its overall entertainment factor.

Having heard so much hype around Donald Glover’s Weirdo, I have to say I expected more from the comedian in terms of material. While it’s certainly not one of the worst DVD’s I’ve watched, it is, unfortunately, somewhat forgettable to me – which, I suppose, is good for repeat watching, as there are some high points in there. Weirdo is available today on Amazon.com.

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