Comedy specials should not be a chore to watch. Yet “No Pain” by comedian Chris D’Elia is a painful experience to watch. His idea of “comedy” is at best childish and at worst psychotic.
D’Elia seems to think that going on for five minutes about him screeching at a baby is funny. Not only was his joke devoid of humor, but he dragged it out for way longer than needed. That joke is one of many that feel random and disconnected from one another. There is next to no theme in this special, no self reflection, not even a coherent story about D’Elia’s life.
D’Elia shares how he had a good childhood and how his parents encouraged him not to do drugs or drink alcohol, which is good if he wanted to make a special about his life growing up, but he didn’t.
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NO PAIN is streaming NOW only on Netflix. Being able to do this as my career makes me happier than anything. Thank you, all of you, and thanks for making me look good @mattdelia. (This still shot was the one taken by @troyconrads when he came out at the end of my set.) #nopainnetflix @netflixisajoke
What viewers get instead are stretched out “jokes” like one about dolphin rape. During his routine of the “joke,” D’Elia tells the crowd about a time in Boulder, Colorado who got mad at him for telling the dolphin joke. If I were in that crowd, I would tell D’Elia to get off the stage.
D’Elia’s stage presence is awful. He seems either nervous or cocky whenever he tells a joke. Unlike other comedians like Donald Glover or Leslie Jones, D’Elia’s movements on stage are limited and lifeless.
D’Elia’s worst moment comes when he talks about people getting more and more offended by comedy and how the future of comedy will be limited. Not only is that statement false, it ignores how comedy has changed over time. People don’t want to laugh at jokes that target underprivileged communities; they want humor that addresses social issues without being offensive.
This special is a reminder that just because you have a microphone, it does not mean you should be telling jokes. D’Elia is a relic of an era in comedy in which shocking the audience with the crudest jokes possible got you laughs. Think “Family Guy” or “South Park,” minus the witty social commentary.
Comedy is best experienced when a comedian has witty material that tackles everyday problems that are relatable. The main failures with “No Pain” stem from a lack of everyday relatability and the absence of intelligent humor. D’Elia’s lack of social awareness or joke telling makes him one of the worst comedians I have ever seen.
Do yourself a favor and go watch literally anything else. If you are looking for a comedy special that touches on history, I recommend “John Leguizamo’s Latin History For Morons.” If you’re in the mood for a stand up special that involves hilarious life stories, check out “Weirdo” by Donald Glover. Even if you are into stand up specials, comedy movies like “Bernie” or “The Beach Bum” are intriguing films that will have you laughing all the way through. If you are not interested in movies, TV shows like “The Office” or “Bojack Horseman” are programs that are both addicting and hilarious.
In the meantime, do yourself a favor and don’t be like Chris D’Elia because the world does not need another subpar comedy special right now.
Ian Ward is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.