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JEAN SHEPHERD– DREW MICHAEL—HUMORIST?

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IS HE A SORT OF 21ST CENTURY JEAN SHEPHERD-TYPE?

Drew Michael is a comedian who has an odd special on HBO TV. The New York Times major article by Jason Zinoman, August 24, 2018, said this in part:

The safe move for Drew Michael, a well-regarded 33-year-old comic, would have been to make a typical debut television hour, stringing together his funniest jokes into a tight set performed in a packed theater. Instead, he took a risk, not to mention a stand in a simmering battle over the artistic future of the comedy special….

Mr. Michael has taken apart the building blocks of stand-up and refashioned them into a fragmented and meditative psychological drama,…

Zinoman also commented: “The tone is sober, even solemn, and while there are some good comic bits, they serve as a means to create a moody snapshot of the corner of his psyche….”

There are few “jokes,” though some of Michael’s monolog elicits amusement and a couple of laughs. There is just Michael (and a few times images of his imaginary girlfriend) Thus, there is no audience, and therefore no laughs to be heard. There is a slow accumulation of ideas out of one’s sensitivity and perception that bring forth personal/universal truths—that elicit from the listener a nod of unexpected recognition. Try these: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7FPMk6tiQ4   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ns0WlESWMeo

As I’ve commented regarding Shepherd, “…he considered humor as he practiced it a higher form because it dealt with insights into human nature, whereas comedy almost always relies on superficial wisecracks.” Shepherd said on a broadcast regarding how humorists work, “It’s his attitude that makes people laugh, often, but not his end point…”

So, I’m not saying Michael and Shepherd are the same, but that they relate to each other. As per Shepherd’s intense interior monolog, his world-view filtered through his sensitive personality. Michael, in this HBO special, seems to extemporize regarding his deepest thoughts/feelings in a more in-your-face attitude. (Or maybe he wrote every word beforehand?)

Though in this performance he is, like Shepherd, a humorist of sorts,

his official website describes him:

“Drew Michael is a comedian, writer, and actor.”

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