The wonderful thing about pessimism is that even if something bad happens, at least you can say, “I was right!”. In 2021, many foolish optimists thought the pandemic was nearly over. Consequently, our shared desperation as we celebrated the first pandemic-aversary, shaped much of the art that was created, leading to some of the most vulnerable, unique stand-up specials of all time.
“What? Stand-up comedy? That’s not art,” says a beret-clad man after buying a canvas some paint fell on for 72 million dollars. I hate to break it to you, buddy, but one of the fundamentals of art is that we don’t get to decide what it is or isn’t. Like all other art, stand-up communicates fresh perspectives through abstract presentation, finding entertainment value in its thoughtfulness. With streaming services such as Netflix on the rise, the medium is currently more accessible than ever. However, since it was not initially intended to be experienced digitally, artists have new constraints and creative opportunities.