As we’ve pointed out here before, Dave Chappelle took a lot of heat from progressives for his recent comedy special “Sticks and Stones.” Vice and other outlets trashed Chappelle and recommended people skip the special because some of the jokes were obviously aimed at progressives and cancel culture. That led to a big divide on review site Rotten Tomatoes between top reviewers (only 33% of whom liked it) and regular people (99% of whom loved it). Comedian Bill Burr seems to be going after the same cancel culture progressives in his own just-released comedy special. Here’s a summary of some of the content from Decider:
Here, he gets into the razor-edged material right off the bat: He mocks someone who says he’s been “triggered.” He says a movie role in which Bryan Cranston plays a quadriplegic is “acting,” and if they’d gotten a real quadriplegic to play the role, that’s “just laying there reading something someone else wrote.”
Before long, Burr says feminists are “full of shit,” and launches his rage-bazooka at “male feminists.” He says the #MeToo movement devolved into calling out men for “bad dates.” He wonders what men should do with women “who like it a little rough.” He calls out an audience member for cheering the idea of the first woman U.S. president: “You don’t even know what her f—ing platform is, and you automatically cheer!” He soon reveals that he knows exactly what he’s doing: “By the way, this is going to be my last show ever.”
Apparently the tone of the show gets less aggressive and more reflective about halfway in. A reviewer at Vulture said the first few minutes of the show live up to the billing of a broadside against cancel culture but as the show goes on the jokes change:
For the first several minutes, he flips quickly through complaints about the overanalysis of jokes, how white women are to blame for the current lamentable state of culture in the United States, and jokes about disabled characters being played by able-bodied actors. In his biggest and most convincingly risky swing, the first few minutes include a bit about Michelle Obama. Burr, in full character as angriest man in the world, is not a Michelle fan. It is an opening segment that dares you to turn the special off in disgust…
The thing is that once Burr moves past that part of the special — once he gets through the sexist throat-clearing and the tick-the-box list of rebellious trollish vocab — the rest of the special is different.
Maybe the backlash to the backlash against Dave Chappelle is causing reviewers themselves to be more reflective. Or maybe there hasn’t been enough time for the #CancelBurr hot takes to really get going. We’ll have to give it another week to find out. Meanwhile, Burr isn’t shying away from the controversy. In an interview with Forbes, Burr pointed to the hypocrisy behind political correctness:
There’s all this weird thing where everybody in public is the most caring person ever–and then they go back to the exact life they were living when they go home. And I understand it. Its heart is in the right place, but they . . . You can’t just change words and think that will change people’s attitudes.
Here’s a NSFW trailer for the special: