Mark Normand is a younger guy who is quickly growing popular. It’s a little bit surprising Netflix wouldn’t tap him for a special, especially considering the difficulty that COVID19 surely will present to filming a new comedy special. Normand is one of the more popular comics that appeal to the younger guy demographic– he’s a lot like Sam Moril, but he’s a little bit edgier and darker. More willing to have jokes about race and gender.
I saw most of this special performed live in the fall at Helium in Indianapolis. It was less refined, but it was good. It’s always interesting to see a comic do his set at a club, and then watch it as a special. I think Normand and Moril both have a quality of being better recorded than live. I’ve only seen him once live though, so I’m not an expert, but his jokes are written carefully– he never feels in the moment during this set. It’s nice to be able to pause or rewind to during Normand’s special. It’s not a bad quality, but if you juxtapose him against Dave Ross, his comedy feels more performed than lived in. It makes his jokes pointedly sharp. But when he does moments of crowd work, asking if there are any gay men, and then if there are any lesbians. This feels so scripted, becuase it is, and for me took me out of the live performance– partly because I am a lesbian and hate being asked to clap in this context.
The special looks nice, especially for something on youtube. The lighting isn’t distracting and it feels like it’s up to the quality of a Comedy Central special. In the background there is a screen with the word “Comedy!” on it. This is a silly little addiction that reminds you constantly, that this is a comedy special that feel very in place.
Normand always has good jokes, and if you are a dude, or even if you are just straight they will probably resonate more with you than do for me. I can appreciate the wit that his punchlines have, but he lives in a world much different than me. One of his jokes is about how a woman will never let himself be seen in the bathroom– ehh, not my experience. Another is about the a girl will try to get a guy to stay the night after sex. Because I’m not on either side of this, it doesn’t hit like something familiar. In a lot of ways Mark Normand’s jokes are like the polar opposite of Mitski’s lyrics.
One of my favorite jokes was where Normand said it should be fine to call a midget a midget, and that little person is like an o’douls. I love this joke, and really enjoy most of the jokes Normand has on topics outside of his relationships with women. I understand that this isn’t a huge opinion and that most people who like Normand are probably like, YES HE GETS IT!
Overall this is a nice special from Mark Normand. It’s interesting to see more comics put out specials on Youtube; either through Comedy Central like Emliy Heller’s Ice Thickeners or through their own means. Surely Normand will make a nice amount of money on the Youtube revenue and gain a ton of younger fans via this strategy.