Blake Wexler: Daddy Long Legs.

Gorilla Specials: Be Enthralled By The Storytelling Web Spun In Blake Wexler’s ‘Daddy Long Legs’

Comedians are often formed, like anything, by the environs they come up in. Club comics, or those who end up working with club comics as openers or road companions, can often seem bullet-proof. Having to deal with hecklers, drunks, loud crowds, and very often tourists, club comics often need to be loud, confident, and immediately compelling in a way that is sustainable. Watching Daddy Long Legs, it’s clear that Blake Wexler has learned these skills to become a versatile and able comedian.

Blake Wexler: Daddy Long Legs. Courtesy of 800 Pound Gorilla.
Blake Wexler: Daddy Long Legs. Courtesy of 800 Pound Gorilla.

Blake Wexler is an incredible storyteller who can make scenes come to life for an audience.

Early on in the special, Wexler describes his experience as part of a ghost tour led by a bored, mocking tour guide that posits lengthy, science-based explanations for everything that could lean supernatural. Here, Wexler uses clear, simple language to move through scenarios. A heavy door is mysteriously opened due to being close to an airfield, with plane takeoff creating some sort of suction. A patch of grass doesn’t grow because it’s at the lowest point in the field, and water pools there, oversaturating it. However, it’s Wexler’s embodiment of this surly character that makes the scene work. As he explains the logical explanation for something, his defeated, detached arrogance fills the character with weary life, and Wexler’s voice, thick with an unplaceable Southern-esque accent, wrings out every nuance of his wily answers. 


In another story, Wexler acts out the night he discovered his college roommate had night terrors (“When you sleep in such a scary way you terrify the night”). It escalates pretty simply, with Wexler acting out both he and his roommate engaging with the hallucination of some kind of monster baby, with the roommate screaming “THERE’S A BABY” over and over. Again, Wexler embodies the characters so well that differentiating between them is effortless, and the acting Wexler does is above average for stand-up. In his approach to narration, the scene comes to life not through description, but through the rooting of these characters in moments that vividly fill out an easily imagined world.

Wexler is an expert at finding accessible entry points in to his comedic stories for an audience.

Each story starts off in a familiar place (an airport, a college dorm, looking at photos of your pet, the shore) and ramps up in absurdity. By having experiences that are common enough for the audience to relate to, they’re able to take the journey with Wexler and feel included, rather than talked-down to. In a joke about using birds as pest control at the Jersey Shore, Wexler helps the audience imagine a ponytailed man doing what he calls “the I-fucked-up-at-work walk,” and to land the punchline when it’s revealed they lost some of their hawks (“I would imagine part of the risk assessment when you open up a hawk company…some of them are gonna fly away”). 


This helps when Wexler gets into odder territory. In one story, he shares that the photographer who took charming pictures of his dog erased the pup’s penis from every photo without being asked. He was mad, but clarifies that he didn’t storm in going “YOU PUT MY DOG’s PEE PEE BACK IN THE PICTURE!” In another story, focused on an announcement about a dirty plane delaying flight, Wexler manages to move the audience through a scenario involving rats eating all of the crumbs from Nutigrain bars meant for people with Celiac’s disease and building a dam.

Wexler’s yelling contains multitudes.

As a comedian, Wexler’s greatest skill might be his yelling. Almost all of his jokes use yelling in some way to heighten the comedy, but he finds a new emotional level with it each time. In the roommate story, the line “THERE’S A BABY” is delivered with terror. In a bit about a coffee nap, the yelling of “AHHHHHHH!”  is meant to convey insanity from the energy built up from the coffee. Elsewhere, when discussing how his dog is afraid of every other dog during his walk, Wexler concedes that he would be too if he had people yelling that they were going to kill him everywhere he went. In a story about having to drive and release mice from his car like an odd wizard, he shouts in mock derision “HAHAHAHAHAHA! BE FREE!” 


Over and over, Wexler finds the right frequency to make the joke work for the people watching. He may have just taped his first special, but his commitment to his craft in a way that makes the audience feel part of it rather than passively listening is what makes Daddy Long Legs so promising.

Watch Blake Wexler in his new special Daddy Long Legs premiering tonight on YouTube!

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