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Best Friends Fight in Pete Davidson’s Netflix Is a Joke

In late April and early May, Netflix’s Is A Joke Fest took Los Angeles by storm with their stand-up shows. A collection of notable comics held their own presentations at the first Netflix Comedy Festival, including the recent SNL— alumnus Pete Davidson, whose showcase had a useful name Best friend.

Before the special actually kicks off, there’s a group chat waiting for us, with famous comics discussing the cast; Carly Aquilino wonders if she is the only female comedian (she is), and Big Wet asks if a musical guest is needed, prompting Davidson to add Machine Gun Kelly to the chat. We then move on to Davidson backstage as he comes out to open the show.

“I had a really weird year,” Davidson admitted. “This year I had a fear of AIDS… Kanye told me that I have AIDS. And he’s a genius, so I thought: Oh fuck. I better call my doctor. The guy who did College Dropout thinks I have AIDS.

But Davidson went on to say that he actually went to the doctor after West’s approval because, after all, who knows? Although Davidson made some memorable jokes about the situation, even referring to John Mulaney’s response to an AIDS comment (“You should spread the rumor that he has polio!”), Davidson never actually made fun of West personally and never mentioned Kim Kardashian. The closest he came to the hope that West “pull Mrs. Doubtfireand dresses like a housekeeper to be closer to her children, but finds herself unable to deviate from her trademark verbiage, thereby blowing her cover.

Davidson ended the short talk by reflecting on the predicament he found himself in, the lack of available advice from his friends (even the older ones who always seem to have a nugget of guidance), and the sheer rage some strangers harbor. to him because of being Kanye West. Davidson cracked jokes throughout this part, but it’s clear he’s going through it™ and the aftermath has made an impact.

Following this, rapper Big Wet performed with Davidson on stage as a hype act. Interestingly, the showcase was booked by rappers (Big Wet and Machine Gun Kelly), a reminder that Davidson really appreciates hip-hop as a genre and works the same as West. Between musical acts, we are treated to comics by Neko White, Giulio Gallarotti, Carly Aquilino, Dave Sirus, Joey Gay and Jordan Rock.

The composition is solid at the beginning, but sags in the middle and fluctuates at the end. Gallarotti and Aquilino are mostly forgettable paraphrases in hackneyed premises: Gallarotti fell into the cliché: “My problem is dating terrible men, but thinking i can fix itwhile Aquilino poked fun at his father’s body without even using the term “father’s body” – you know, to keep it original. Dave Cyrus managed to take a fresh look at the “weird kid in the classroom” image, but he could use more flair. Joey Gay’s revelation of his heart attack, combined with his borderline screaming, made me nervous that we would be witnessing a real-time cardiovascular disaster – not to say it wasn’t funny, just that I was concerned. And after the performance of Jordan Rock, Davidson returned to the stage and joked: “Well, I’m canceled.”

But the most memorable set for me came right on top with Neko White, if only because of the broader commentary he had for comedy – and society – in general.

White joked about the hairdresser sharing too much with him while he was just trying to woo the wilting. The hairdresser began a transphobic litany against his child, who decided that he was actually “the woman inside.” The barber then asked what White would do if he were in the same situation.

To illustrate his hypothetical response to the hairdresser and the current public, White embarked on an elaborate re-enactment in which he imitated the entrance to his son’s room, asked him to take out the garbage, and in response tearfully confessed, “I think I’m the girl inside.” .

“Wait,” White said, then stepped back, closed the door, and then re-entered, saying, “Hey baby, could you take out the trash?”

The Los Angeles audience erupted in laughter and applause as White thanked them and left the stage. Two weeks after the Netflix festival, Chapelle unexpectedly opened The John Mulaney Show in Ohio, a show in which he bombarded the audience with non-consensual transphobic jokes (i.e., tickets were sold with the knowledge that Chapelle would be performing).

In the past, Mulaney’s standup has focused on his people’s liking (we’re all aware of his professed envy of the Best Buy Rewards Card and subsequent annoyance of his now ex-wife), and I can only assume that this played into his decision to let Chapelle perform. In light of his friendship with Davidson and Davidson’s conscientious comedy, it’s hard for me to see Mulaney as sinister – just spineless. But this brings us back to Neko White.

In about 5 minutes, White managed to portray the correct way to deal with other people’s gender identity: mind your own business and respect their autonomy. And he made it funny. Let’s hope that Davidson and his best friends can continue to work on a comedy project that doesn’t fail but still proves strong.



Brooke Knisley is a freelance writer and comedy writer. She has balance problems. Let her bug you on Twitter @BrookKnisley.

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