Taylor Tomlinson’s comedy special targets millennial humor


Jacob WaringNews Editor

“Taylor Tomlinson: Quarter-Life Crisis” is peak millennial humor. It is great to see Tomlinson get her own Netflix comedy special as it showcased her growth as a comedian since Season nine of NBC’s Last Comic Standing back in 2015. She really captured the humor found in the struggles in the life of people surviving their twenties. The comedy showcased in this special is uber-relatable.

Relatable because as someone in their last years of their 20s, what Tomlinson jokes about has endless amount of truth. It is that truthfulness where she brings out the humor that had that crowd giggling to outright laughter.

“Love is blind. Lust is Helen Keller,” is a line she joked about that summed up one of her best punchlines. Her jokes are heavily colored by her own experience as a young woman with dating and sex. She joked about her inexperience as a sexually active women, how she navigated dating games and her interactions with men.

The hilarity comes forth from her ability to story-tell with such energetic joyfulness. Her facial expressions makes the punchlines hit harder, Tomlinson’s expert utilization of her body language is key to her special’s success.

Tomlinson does not overexpose her blocking on stage to where it would become a distraction. Yet, she moves as if to the beat of her jokes and almost as if she’s stringing the momentum of the crowd’s laughter into the next joke as she moves.

Some of Tomlinson’s best bits are when she touches upon the topic of social media and dating apps. She told a hilarious anecdote of an interaction with a man on OkCupid, and his response of an emoji as a litmus test in determining a woman’s personality. She went on a rant about people “heroically” taking a break on social media.

Blink and at times you could miss the punchline. She eases into joke after joke and when she tells a dud of a joke then the speed of her delivery allows people to leave that joke behind. The downside is that some of the jokes do not have a chance to breath and you could experience whiplash from a quicken comedic assembly line.

Tomlinson’s best bits, which I will not spoil, are the jokes she allows to breathe before delivering. It was evident when she spoke about her childhood and the stories she told of her parent’s parenting. She got some of the loudest cheers, giggles and audience participation with their vocal happiness.

It is interesting that her best content is when she tells jokes not relating to the experiences of a twenty-something-year-old but her childhood. I think that is because one’s childhood is a universal experience. We all have been a child at one point. We all have funny stories or trauma from our parents, sometimes both. Every generation’s experience being in their twenties is diverse and a product of their times that I feel the farther from Tomlinson’s own generation, the harder it will be to find the humor in her jokes.

Tomlinson’s Nexflix special brought the laughs, Delivered on a slice of life that holds truth while also bringing the funny. These specials can be hit and miss depending on your comedic tastes but Tomlinson’s stories bring broad appeal and she does her best to be relatable to all ages.

Photo Credit: Izzy Manzo

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