Hannah Gadsby gets into a lengthy and detailed explanation of her set for the first 15 minutes of her new special Douglas. She had to trim material to fit the hour-and-something show.
Some humor about American-isms, a bit of healthy needling of the patriarchy and alone Louis C.K joke among other subjects as well as peppering of a couple of lectures was the show all about. While she’s setting expectations from the audience, Gadsby promises her audience they’re in for a treat.
The 42-year-old Australian didn’t anticipate the show’s meteoric popularity as you see, Gadsby ‘is all out of trauma’ after her wildly successful prior special, Nanette (2018) after which she quit comedy. Douglas is now streaming on Netflix.
All her ‘trauma eggs in one basket’ were put by her and had she known better, she’d have budgeted it. A trilogy as possible. Douglas is named after her dog, starts shaky. The show was such that where Gadsby deliberately intended to encourage people to go beyond the surface.
There are scores of comedy specials floating on the internet these days. But Gadsby’s charisma lies in her ability to be excruciatingly vulnerable to an audience with a swagger that’s both self-assured as well as relatable.
She repeatedly returns to her punchlines, ensuring continuous rapt attention from the audience. She deliberately intended to encourage people to go beyond the surface.
The 42-year-old wanted to reward audiences for sticking around as she was diagnosed with autism. The comedy special is a self-declared, romantic comedy about autism.
The show is more than recompense viewers. She joked about being undiagnosed on the spectrum. The show was more a farewell filled with pathos than comedy special.
Irrespective of the fact it was hilarious and a tight set that couldn’t have been better if it tried.