In his fourth Netflix special, Trevor uses anecdotes from his travels around the world for his jokes on race, gender, etc.
Story: Former The Daily Show host Trevor Noah returns to what he does best – standup comedy – with his fourth special for Netflix. This time around, he talks about stuff he’s seen and heard during his travels to Germany and France, among others, for his comic routine. This was a special that was shot at a live event in Detroit.
Review: As Trevor Noah speaks to his audience in Detroit, about a recent trip to Berlin and how the Germans acknowledge their role in the World Wars and are truly apologetic about it, while also educating the next generation that while it is not their fault, they ought not to repeat it, it is a not-so-subtle hint at America’s violent history. “It was nice to be in a place where they don’t bury their history,” he said, adding later, “I wish America did this, because it is awkward speaking about history… it doesn’t matter what history it is; it gets tense.”
As an example, he then lists Columbus Day, which some call Indigenous Peoples’ Day as an example, and then spins his joke around how Christopher Columbus, who believed that he could sail the wrong way around the world and get to India from the other side. “Not only did he not land in India, he found himself in the Caribbean and said, ‘This is India’…. ‘India on the far side, so you are West Indians’. Christopher Columbus never ever set foot in America, and yet, he had a public holiday named after him. That is the inspiring story of how white men can fail up,” said Trevor as his opening joke.
He then goes on about manufactured issues that often happen in America, with politicians tricking Americans into fighting about issues that were not an issue, so that they don’t pay attention to the actual issues. For this he highlights the removal of chapters on slavery from textbooks, and the use of public restrooms by transgenders. There’s a bit about putting Harriet Tubman on the 20 dollar bill, respecting the American flag and anthem, losing his luggage on a trip to Paris, a feeling he likens to being forgotten by his mother at school; being roasted in a French clothing store for his fashion choices and size options, which he then lands as yet another jibe about customer service in America.
He rounds it off with his list of top five things that white people love, museums, swimming, being flabbergasted, being white, and the Neil Diamond song Sweet Caroline and proves the last by having his audience join in the song without being prompted, which, as he then points out, they didn’t when he sang the American national anthem. This, about makes up Trevor’s special that stands at a tad over an hour in length, which is all good if you either live in the USA or follow much more than just American pop culture. Then, you may understand/like most of his jokes.
Verdict: Trevor Noah: Where Was I, does not feel very special if the jokes do not appeal or land well. It didn’t for me, and this despite the fact that his impressions and accents were jolly good fun to watch. There were no laugh out loud moments and the white man privilege humour is beginning to feel stale. Watch it if you really have nothing else to do or wait for Ricky Gervais’ new show on Christmas. That may just be lot more fun.