Published Oct 28, 2016Nick Thune's 2014 special Folk Hero captures the Seattle, WA comedian's uniqueness in the comedy world, but that uniqueness can't save the rough patches sprinkled throughout his set.
As he strums his guitar (which he plays for almost the entire 40 minutes), Thune opens with a string of clever one-liners, veering into Demetri Martin-esque jokes like, "I keep all the rooms in my house set to room temperature; it just feels right. All my bathrooms are at bathroom temperature, but all my corners, they're set to 90 degrees." He incorporates shorter jokes about his childhood growing up in the church and his well-intentioned family as well as longer ones about past relationships.
The varied types of jokes make the special all the more interesting, but the most rewarding moments come when Thune detaches himself from his guitar and tells a joke, requiring movement on his part, about a sign language interpreter at one of his shows, or when he engages in crowd work, playing Ruth or Claire (wordplay on truth or dare) where an audience member guesses whether a woman is named Ruth or Claire, based on her photo.
But about midway through the special, a joke about sending a "You're welcome" card in response to a thank you card is reused from his 2010 album Thick Noon. Those coming across Thune's standup for the first time may enjoy the observation, but if you're familiar with his work, the joke is redundant.
Even with a creative incorporation of musicians during his last story about saving firemen, a definite lull hits when a dramatic buildup doesn't lead to an equally dramatic or hilarious ending.
Folk Hero thrives when Thune takes advantage of his creativity and originality, but moments that are a bit rough around the edges overshadow his potential.
Exclaim! is reviewing every standup comedy special currently available on Netflix Canada, including this one. You can find a complete list of reviews so far here.