If you are bougie like me, it means you have data and access to Netflix (America not the watered down nonsense we’re allowed in Nigeria). You’ve probably also seen the Chris Rock special ‘Tamborine’ (no, not a typo) and wondered if you should spend your precious data on it.
Let’s hope this review helps you decide.
Chris Rock, who redefined stand-up comedy with his brilliant takes on relationships, race and society, returns with his first stand-up special in ten years, Chris Rock: Tamborine (2008’s ”Kill the Messenger” was the last one), an hour and four minutes of him discussing race, police brutality, fatherhood, infidelity and American politics on stage in Brooklyn.
Too many minutes later into the show, I wasn’t exactly sure why this special was called Tamborine. There’s no real overarching theme. “You would think the cops would occasionally shoot a white kid just to make it look good,” he opens with. spending the first half dealing with police brutality, gun control and millennials (material for the millennials bit I can swear he got from Simon Sinek).
“If 100 people ever got stabbed at the same time, in the same place, by the same person, you know what that would mean? Ninety-seven people deserved to die.” Rock concludes, in reference to the popular gun debate “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” and the analogous idea that murderers use knives, too.
While I liked that the staging was devoid of the fuss and fanfare that these new cats employ to distract from the fact that they’re not really funny, it gave us too much room to really focus on Chris and his not so longer funny jokes.
From the very obvious and really recycled ‘white cops shooting black kids’ trope, we moved on to racism – “Ever since my kids were born, I’ve been getting them ready for the white man,” he says. “Everything in my house that’s the colour white is either hot, heavy, or sharp. My kids know that when they deal with anything white, they gotta think about that shit. They gotta contemplate this shit. ‘Ooh, this napkin, okay, should I wipe my mouth with it? Or is that what whitey wants me to do?’” – and then to millennials who think they’re special thanks to parents and educational institutions who continue to tell them this.
A situation he says he tries to get around by telling his daughters before they leave the house, “As soon as you leave this door, nobody gives a fuck about you […] nobody thinks you’re cute, nobody thinks you’re smart, nobody gives a fuck about your opinion, nobody on the whole Earth outside of this door gives a fuck about you.” (I truly hope this was a REAL joke sha cos????).
That joke is followed by another about how bullies were necessary because they “do the other half” of the life-shaping work done by teachers, forcing other children to toughen up. “That’s how Trump became president. We got rid of bullies. A real bully showed up and we didn’t know how to handle him.” he quipped.
Rock then drove onto lane metaphysical where he mused about the arrogance inherent in humanity’s relationship to God: “The act of helping God is sacrilegious,” he says. “If you think that you can help God out, then you don’t believe in God.”
Yes, I’ve seen that meme before too.
By the time the show is halfway through, the reason for the show’s title comes through in his jokes about relationships and his divorce. “I fucked up,” he states. “Divorce, man. It’s my fault, coz I’m a fucking asshole. I wasn’t a good husband. I didn’t listen. I wasn’t kind.”
Fuck your partner even if you’re not in the mood, he tells the audience, with funny stories about dating at his age, using his real name on Tinder and trying to hit on Rihanna and having her regard him like an uncle.
Overall, even though It feels like Rock is going through the motions (you know that ” I no dey in the mood for this work but dem don pay me so I gats do am” mode) and the routine starts to feel pretty worn pretty quickly, I had a couple good laughs and a few minor laughs.
It wasn’t hilarious (even though the guy I watched with was laughing his head off), much of it wasn’t original (most of the jokes have been circulating on the internet for a while) but I was entertained, and if that’s the only thing that matters to you, then by all means, spend your data on it.
Over 5, I’ll say 3.
PS; I promise I’m not of the people who Hates Chris
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