Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable (2018)

Before having a daytime talk show, Ellen was one of the best stand-up comedians out there. On this 68-minute Netflix comedy special, she actually manages to remember to do an entire 14 minutes of good stand up in between her Gelman-and-Cody-are-doing-great personal life fan updates. I'm happy to see Ellen be successful, and I'm happy to see her having fun, but I just can't dig the weird obsessive fan ego-feeding relationship, or the gigantic Oprah head she's developed as a result.



Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones

In the summer of 1999, I was lucky enough to see Dave Chappelle at an outdoor comedy festival. That was right around the time when people were starting to call him the greatest comedian of all time. It was pretty routine, in many places at that time, for large groups of conservatives to picket movie theatres, TV affiliates, and venues for any kind of live performances, because anything that wasn't G-Rated was considered an attack on God and family. That was mainstream conservative back then.

Around the same time, I read a book by Robert Anton Wilson that said, "It only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea." At the age of 15, I thought that was so ridiculous and impossible that I got angry.

Time has proven me wrong: The left-wing media are almost 100% outraged by this, while Fox News et al. are praising it, although he's still fundamentally the same comedian as he was twenty years ago, when no one would have ever mistaken him for a conservative.

Anyway, this isn't his best special, and it's not his worst. The super-secret hidden epilogue is good.



Bob Hope Christmas Special (1964)

Bob Hope spends December touring East Asia, finishing with a Christmas in Vietnam, where things were already pretty grim. This is pretty solid early-middle Bob Hope. He wasn't young and hungry, but he still hadn't given up on being funny like in the 70s, and he was decades away from this trainwreck. Great music, great as a piece of history, the jokes are not bad.