Monday, June 19, 2017

Trevor Noah: Afraid of the Dark (2017)

Number Rolled: 39
Movie Name/Year: Trevor Noah: Afraid of the Dark (2017)
Tagline: None
Genre: Stand-Up, Comedy
Length: 67 minutes
Rating: TV-14
Production Companies: Netflix
Producer: Norman Aladjem, Trevor Noah, Derek Van Pelt, Sanaz Yamin
Director: David Paul Meyer
Writer: Trevor Noah
Actors: Trevor Noah
Stunt Doubles: N/A

Blurb from Netflix: The “Daily Show” host ponders the perils of naming countries, how traffic lights turn New Yorkers invincible and why you shouldn’t drink in Scotland.

Selina’s Point of View:
I am a big fan of the Daily Show (1996 - ) and I was skeptical of Trevor Noah (Isidingo, Tonight with Trevor Noah, Trevor Noah: The Daywalker) when he first took over. After all, could there really be anyone who filled the shoes of Jon Stewart (The Beaver, Evan Almighty, The Adjustment Bureau)?

Despite my stubbornness, however, Noah did win me over eventually, so I was excited that one of his stand-up specials came up for the blog.

I was really disappointed in the beginning.

At the start of the special, after explaining that it was his dream to perform in New York, he went into a bit that was so unoriginal about the state that I actively rolled my eyes. I was worried that the entire special might be as equally unoriginal.

Can we all just agree to kill that bit about a New Yorker slapping the hood of a cab and yelling, “I’m walking over here?” It’s in every movie about the state, tons of comedians bring it up whenever they perform here. Just stop it. It was funny for about three movies in the 80s and now it’s just overdone bullshit.

Not only that, but it never happens. It puts dangerous ideas in the minds of tourists. If you walk in front of a yellow cab and slap their hood to yell at them, they might just run you down on principle.

Moving on.

After a few minutes, Noah did drop it and became much more pleasant to watch. His jokes and stories got much funnier. I didn’t feel the need to roll my eyes again for the rest of the special.

It got somewhat political in parts, but I expected it. He never really went overboard with it, though, so I didn’t feel like I was watching CNN or something. He got into some racial stories, but those never went overboard either. They were funny and I walked away feeling I understood his perspective better – without feeling like he had spent that time putting me down to raise himself.

In the end, I really did enjoy this special. I look forward to watching the others.

Cat’s Point of View:
This comedy special was definitely a change of pace from the normal movie routine, and I’m not complaining at all. Trevor Noah (Taka Takata, Mad Buddies, Nashville) was an excellent casting choice for The Daily Show (1996-), and I’ve enjoyed the bits that I’ve randomly caught. It’s not a show I watch regularly on purpose, but it didn’t take much for me to appreciate Noah’s wit and deft grasp of satire.

He has this worldly charm about him that is no surprise. He’s travelled a lot and has a broad perspective on the world and its people. His humor is laced with intelligence, but he doesn’t come across as being condescending.

I absolutely adore when he does accents, as well. It’s like he’s a vocal chameleon. For him to grasp them so well, it makes me wonder how many languages he has at least a rudimentary understanding of, if not actual fluency.

One thing I liked about this particular special was that it seemed like he was just hanging out and sharing stories with the audience as opposed to telling jokes or staged bits. The program was cohesive and, like all great comedy shows, there were elements that linked topics together as well as the show as a whole. It was subtler and delivered with style so that I didn’t feel like I was being given the proverbial giant neon arrow to say ‘look at what I did’ that other acts often seem to use.

I’m glad that we hit this particular comedy special when we did because of some of the political bits. It’s very topical to current world events in places and he handled it so deftly that I can imagine only someone actually looking for ways to get offended would.

All in all, I found Noah's special hilarious, and I definitely wouldn’t mind watching it again. I would certainly recommend it.

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English, French, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore - None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 7.2/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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