Judge Clark Douglas is also multi-talented—he can chew gum and walk simultaneously!
A solid hour of hilariously original, wisecracking humor.
If you're familiar with Donald Glover, odds are that it's because you're a fan of (or at least have seen) NBC's Community, that delightful half-hour sitcom that is either the best thing ever or that show that your friends won't stop bothering you about (but seriously, you should check it out, because it's the best thing ever). However, acting is only one aspect of Glover's remarkably diverse career. He's also a writer (doing time as a member of the 30 Rock writing staff before moving onto Community), a musician (writing smart, well-regarded hip-hop music under the name of Childish Gambino) and a standup comic. It's that last side of Glover we're treated to with Donald Glover: Weirdo, and—hey, surprise—his standup act is pretty terrific.
Glover recognizes that most of his fans are also Community fans, and he makes an attempt to set the record straight from the beginning. "This isn't gonna be like that," he confesses nervously. "Maybe some of you brought your kids in here thinking I'm gonna be doing Troy & Abed, and then you're gonna be shocked when I'm all, 'dicks, dicks, dick, dicks.'" However, despite his promise of raunchy material, Glover's stand-up act isn't built on shock value or endless sex gags. Sure, f-bombs and explicit sex jokes appear at various points, but Glover is hardly dependent on these elements for his success. Weirdo is a frisky, wide-ranging, consistently entertaining special which becomes increasingly intimate and personal as it proceeds.
One of Glover's strong assets is his chipper, casual stage presence, which somehow manages to make even the filthiest material seem playful and innocent. A particularly graphic testimonial about one of Glover's more peculiar sexual encounters is filled with R-rated details and racial slurs, but Glover's giddy, slightly bashful delivery makes the gag strangely endearing. Early on, Glover delivers a particularly entertaining piece about the internet's bizarre reaction to the rumor that he might play Spider-Man, and then uses that tale as an opportunity to dig into an extended sequence on racism and the N-word. The territory may feel well-worn at first, but Glover quickly demonstrates that his take on the subject matter is simultaneously fresh, thoughtful and (most importantly) really entertaining.
The back half of the special is an immensely enjoyable journey through Glover's childhood. He was raised in a very conservative, sheltered home and was constantly surround by assorted foster kids his parents took in, and he recreates some of the more bizarre tales from his youth with wit and affection. In this portion of the show, Glover shifts from the more rapid-fire laughs of the earlier section to longer-form jokes and storytelling, but the transition is seamless. Throughout, Glover's performance is warm and natural; he doesn't seem to feel a need to create a gimmicky stage persona for his stand-up act. It's an impressive hour, and one which immediately presents Glover as one of the most promising young stand-up acts working today.
The DVD transfer is nothing special, but it gets the job done nicely and offers sturdy detail. Similarly, the Dolby 5.1 Surround track is functional and clear, but unspectacular. The disc receives precisely what it needs. Surprisingly, the supplemental package includes a terrific 35-minute interview with Glover in which the comic speaks seriously about his career, family and ambitions. Stand-up discs tend to be light on substantial extras, so this one was a nice surprise. The other supplement, a 5-minute piece called "Weirdo in NYC," offers Glover's brief thoughts on life in The Big Apple.
Donald Glover: Weirdo is a terrific first hour for the young comedian. If you're a stand-up comedy fan, you owe it to yourself to check out this disc. It's hard to predict which elements of his career Glover will emphasize going forward, but one thing's for sure: whatever he does is probably well worth your time.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: E1 Entertainment
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