Mike Baldwin: #1 Top Selling Best Comedy Special Ever

Gorilla Specials: Mike Baldwin Makes A Valiant Effort To Have The ‘#1 Top Selling Best Comedy Special Ever’

Mike Baldwin is a comic shaped by a very distinctive era of stand-up, which is one that prioritized jokes and had room for both Todd Barry and Shane Torres. His mild delivery is sometimes hard to hear over the audience responding to the joke-heavy bits he has on relatable topics like weight and dating. The chunks are so thorough though, that to understand what makes Baldwin special, it’s best to dissect one chunk, such as his examination of food and diet. 

Mike Baldwin: #1 Top Selling Best Comedy Special Ever
Mike Baldwin: #1 Top Selling Best Comedy Special Ever.

Mike Baldwin can write jokes, but also makes room for goofiness.

Baldwin starts off his take on eating by saying, “I’m fatter than I’ve been in my whole life, but it’s no big deal. I’m sure it’ll work itself out. I’ll grow into it, probably. I think that’s how it works.” Notice here that this isn’t even necessarily a joke, but the joy of “the word probably,” and the almost pun of “I’ll grow into it,” picking up the idea of being fat, leads audiences to the idea of laughter before the harder jokes start. When the comedy starts in proper, these moments allow Baldwin to max out the potential for each line, chasing a lead-in line about thinking his recliner was the problem, before sharing “I donate my recliner, and then I’m just being a piece of shit on the floor.” Again, notice that the follow-up line isn’t a clear joke, but it’s fun, and the weirdness of it, the silly embarrassment of the recliner helping him avoid sinking into being a floor sitter, makes the audience light up like nothing else. 

Mike Baldwin can do voices with the best of them.

In the same bit, towards the middle of it, Baldwin uses a singsong voice to describe eating with his hands in his underwear after a set, saying, “it’s spaghetti time.” There’s an evocative sense that again, works in the same space of joy as the jokes that are less clear, but punches harder as a clear point of laughter. However, the line in and of itself isn’t much on its own, but Baldwin’s experience allowed him to recognize that singing it would give it just what it needed to take off for the audience.

Later, when discussing the correlation between drugs and food, Baldwin uses a Brian Regan-like voice in the line,“That’s why you can eat a big shitty meal and be like, ‘you know what, pie does sound good.’ The lower, stupid male voice, almost evoking everyone’s dad at a big dinner, works in a way for the line that nothing else could quite live up to. Similarly, the high voice used in the lines  “It’s not because your body needs pie. It’s because your brain’s goin’ ‘yeah, I wanna feel like this forever,” help sell the line, as a high voice for the brain makes sense, as the audience is associating the highest part of the body with a higher voice. 

Mike Baldwin is clever.

Baldwin ends the chunk by sharing his logic for the gradual erosion of his body, saying that a cheat day turned into two days, which turned into cheat week, which turned into “cheat October,” which turned into “cheat season,” which turned into a “cheat decade” (possibly). Here, the reps work by going sequentially, but Baldwin takes time to make sure they don’t have any extra meat on them. The shift in language after each “cheat” makes the bit sing, and helps Baldwin to show how good he can be. For some, this may genuinely be the #1 Top Selling Best Comedy Special Ever.

Mike Baldwin's newest special, #1 Top Selling Best Comedy Special Ever, is streaming now on YouTube. Don't forget to purchase a copy of the album from the special on 800 Pound Gorilla!

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