(Netflix) James Acaster is an English comedian that, with REPETOIRE, embodies the playful, albeit formalist, comedy I absolutely love. His storytelling and setups are accessible, but if you love plays on logic or toying with language, you’ll completely fall for him.
However, Acaster isn’t simply content to play with language, as the specials dabble with color and structure, breaking up his epic four-hour comedy special into four parts, then breaking up those parts into subparts punctuated by blocking and small props, such as how he utilizes his watch.
It’s very smart, oddly thrilling for stand-up comedy, and surprisingly re-watchable.
It’s worth noting that Acaster has taken a hard turn from his prior observational/fictional comedy to focus more on self-reflective storytelling bits regarding mental illness, so REPETOIRE isn’t exactly representative of his current comedy, but it’s still damn good.
(Apparently, a clip calling out transphobic comedians from his latest special COLD LASAGNE HATE MYSELF 1999 went viral in January, so you may already be familiar with him.)
Lastly, GOOD ONE, Jesse David Fox’s brilliant comedy podcast, hosted him recently and it’s a terrific hour and a half that has Acaster breaking down his process and comedic evolution.
“I should have warned you earlier: some of the jokes are sad.”