Sam Morril tones down his sharpness in new Netflix comedy special – Entertainment News , Firstpost – Firstpost
Same Time Tomorrow is the kind of special that is befitting of a comedian still trying to find a voice. It’s not worthy of a comedian like Morril who already possesses a voice but chooses to instead tone it down.
Same Time Tomorrow, the new Netflix comedy special performed by Sam Morril, arguably one of most promising comedians of this generation, is the kind of special that would have been satisfying a couple of years ago. Today, it’s just acceptable. I don’t mean to say that it’s not fun — the 45-minute intimate special is in fact stacked with good jokes. The problem is that it goes nowhere beyond delivering just jokes. If it feels underwhelming, it’s only because Morril has in the last couple of years, shot to overnight fame for being a comedian with a distinctly original voice, capable of keeping the attention spans of his audience hooked to their seats. In Same Time Tomorrow, it feels as if the comedian neglects his voice to serve some distinctly great punchlines.
These 45-minutes confirm one indisputable fact about Morril: he is one of the few comedians whose greatest strength is being a skillful storyteller. Armed with his trademark raspy voice, the New York-based comedian weaponizes language to construct his jokes, tempering it with his deadpan, wry point of view. In fact, one of the standout moments of the special involves Morril play-acting, seamlessly switching from his casual, carefree delivery style to deliver a more animated, urgent impression of porn addicts.
Should the point of a comedy special end with the comedian just succeeding in reminding his audience that he actually knows his way through the mechanics of a bit or should it also act as a playground for a comedian to keep improving his craft? To my mind, that’s the question that lies at the center of how Same Time Tomorrow plays out. There’s no doubt that Morril is a funny, accomplished comedian who can turn anything into a setup that ends with a punchline and throughout the special, he keeps confirming that.
But I’d still say it’s underwhelming given how easily Morril seems stuck to the idea that mining an off-the-limits topic for a laugh is invention enough. By that I mean, that Morril’s thoughts on abortions and trans people becoming a regular feature on every comic specials are funny and effective but they’re not imaginative. They’re aiming for the most obvious corners, rather than subverting expectations. There’s a similar approach in the way Morril constructs the special as well: it’s stacked with observations, employing crowd work as a catalyst for his comedy, culminating in a set that feels worthy for YouTube or a crowd on a night. The problem is it never comes any close to displaying the way ahead for Morril as a comedian, in the sense of becoming someone who wishes to disrupt the scene instead of adding to the current conversation.
In that sense, I suppose the biggest letdown of the special, despite the comedian’s knack at being economical, is that it feels like a comedy special designed to play to the gallery. The topics that Morril touches upon throughout the special seem formatted in a way that the comedian knows his audience will prefer. Like his bit about the idea of political correctness or outrage being actually insincere. The special name-checks every topic that finds its way in the greatest hits of any comedy special: 9/11, abortion, cancel culture, jerking off, Dave Chapelle… you get the drift. In my opinion, Same Time Tomorrow is the kind of special that is befitting of a comedian still trying to find a voice. It’s not worthy of a comedian like Morril who already possesses a voice but chooses to instead tone it down. As a result, it’s crowd-pleasing but never sharp. Morril’s appearance in That’s My Time with David Letterman earlier this year had more of a bite. There’s no reason being funny should be enough of a standard for a comedy special Morril helms.
Poulomi Das is a film and culture writer, critic, and programmer. Follow more of her writing on Twitter.
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Updated Date: September 06, 2022 09:11:05 IST
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