All Grow’d Up
“Donald Glover: Weirdo” on Comedy Central
Donald Glover isn’t exactly a household name, but he damn well should be. Glover is best known as the character Troy on NBC’s Thursday-night sitcom “Community.” He first achieved cult notoriety, though, as a member of the Internet-famous sketch comedy troupe Derrick Comedy. (If you haven’t seen their 2009 feature Mystery Team, you’re missing out.) He’s written for “The Daily Show” and “30 Rock,” and he just released another rootsy rap album under the stage name Childish Gambino. (It’s witty, wonderful stuff, check it out.) Now, Comedy Central is gifting this underrated entertainer with a much-deserved stand-up comedy special.
“Donald Glover: Weirdo” is real back-to-basics stuff for Glover. Filmed in New York City, the hour-long special consists of Glover in jeans and a T-shirt, a stage, a mic stand, a stool, and a bottle of water. Those expecting glossed-up video segments or musical interludes are advised to get with the program. Glover delivers the comedy goods, weighing in on a variety of subjects. Over the course of the show, he explains why kids are like little Hitlers, why Charlie Sheen is the only white guy who can use the n-word, why Kix is the handjob of breakfast cereals and why Home Depot is like Auschwitz for kids.
Glover’s hour races by in a heartbeat. Those who’ve only seen him on “Community” might be a little surprised at his cheerfully raunchy persona. Though he peppers the performance with curse words and the occasional story about “making sex,” it’s always accompanied by a happy, childlike grin—which keeps the jokes from ever feeling very dirty.
Speaking of childlike, Glover’s humor has long relied on his extended-adolescent personality. “Weirdo” certainly continues the trend. Characters Troy Barnes from “Community” and Jason from Mystery Team are both eternal juveniles—not the stunted, angry man-children of Adam Sandler and his ilk, but amusingly naive young men who prefer happy imagination over grim reality. No surprise then to find that a lot of Glover’s jokes/stories are extended riffs on childhood memories. Like a potty-mouthed Bill Cosby, Glover tells tales out of school about playground hijinks and sugar-addled kids. He even manages one elaborate poop joke.
Despite his reputation as a cutting-edge comedian, “Donald Glover: Weirdo” is pretty simple stuff. Longtime fans versed in the comedian’s entire résumé may feel that this Comedy Central outing is a tad pared down. But it’s got plenty of good laughs and serves as a fine gateway drug for more of Glover’s comedy. When you need more, head on over to derrickcomedy.com for some other classic videos.
“Donald Glover: Weirdo” premieres Saturday, Nov. 19, at midnight on Comedy Central.