STAND-UP TUESDAYS: Chris D’Elia

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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 Chris D’Elia’s comedy career. If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email utgjames@gmail.com.

Chris D’Elia’s new special, White Male, Black Comic, debuted on Comedy Central last week, leaving some comedy fans wondering why the former “Whitney” star even bothered.  Filled with trite, tired topics which have been tackled ad nauseum already, D’Elia seemingly left his “A” game at home when taping the new special at The Civic Theater in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Hoping for a strong start from D’Elia, who is a regular at comedy clubs throughout Hollywood and beyond, my expectations were immediately dashed as the comedian started off his set with almost twenty full minutes of “dudes be like this, chicks be like this” observations.  After checking my surroundings to ensure I was not merely at a local open mic, I held onto hope that the special would improve with time. Sadly, for my taste, it did not.

While I’m not intimately familiar with D’Elia as a comedian, I am told that he’s one of the hottest comedians performing in Hollywood today who has appeared on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon”, Comedy Central’s “Workaholics”, and TBS’ “Glory Daze”. Naturally, upon listening to D’Elia’s special, I expected to be shown just why the comedian has made the name for himself that he has – and ultimately, those expectations fell flat.

White Male, Black Comic offers up nothing about D’Elia personally, except that he was raised Catholic. It’s an overall disingenuous experience as D’Elia, as the name implies, comes off as a black comic in his style – leaving me wondering just why he is going for such a style. I’m not quite sure what he stands to gain from the persona, except coming off as somewhat of a phony.

I’ve no doubt that Chris D’Elia has earned his comic chops, as Comedy Central doesn’t simply dole out specials to any comic who approaches. However, I’m left with the feeling that D’Elia is riding a wave of heat he’s created for himself, and not focusing on the strength of his newer material. Ultimately, I’m quite certain that Chris D’Elia is capable of far more than simply being a White Male, Black Comic.

Grade: C+

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  • Christian Lee

    Could it be he’s burning his older (built up) material in his first special? As you noted, the “dudes be like this, chicks be like this” could just be the style the title implies.

    I’m not for or against the dude, just asking questions.

  • Angie Frissore

    But why not be more selective with a Comedy Central special? If there’s ever a time to bring out your strongest, best material, that’d be it. The whole first half felt exceptionally amateur for someone with such credentials.

  • Christian Lee

    I don’t disagree. I think that some guys do the stuff they’re so comfortable with for the first one, and might be looking ahead towards the 2nd. Silverman’s new special had old stuff as well. Bits she’s been doing on talk shows for the past couple years… but I’m sure you’ll get to her soon.