June 23, 2024

Brian Simpson: Live from the Mothership 2024 Movie Review

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Brian Simpson: Live from the Mothership 2024 Movie Review

Simpson first broke through with a 2019 performance on Comedy Central’s Lights Out with David Spade, but is probably familiar with Netflix viewers already thanks to his half-hour as part of season 3 of The Standups, which debuted at the end of 2021.

For his first Netflix hour, directed by comedian and actor Baron Vaughn, Simpson challenges his audience’s thoughts on race and masculinity, and as this trailer shows, is willing to poke fun at himself feeling he doesn’t deserve applause just for having served in the military.

About that bit joking about his service in the Marine Corps, Simpson notes that he signed up in March 2001, six months before 9/11, so his reasoning was more about paying his way through school than dying for his country. “I didn’t do it for heroic cheers,” he acknowledges.

Perhaps more enlightening, though, is finding out as he had just how white the Marines were back then, and how much time he spent answering questions about race and realizing how difficult it was to change peoples’ minds. “That’s how I know it’s pointless,” Simpson says, adding later: “I’m retired from being…your first black friend.” But he already had set the tone at the top of his hour with a story about an Uber driver who was afraid to pick Simpson up for his ride outside of the Mothership on Austin’s Sixth Street.

He then shifts gears into a section about sexuality, relationships, and how a perspective shift might help men treat women better. What if men had limits on sperm count just as women have limits on how many eggs they produce? What if “height is just titties for men”? He elaborates:“It’s just something everybody can see that you didn’t earn, and you show up and get treated better than the rest of us, and act like it’s something you fucking accomplished on your own.” And then he gets at the real issue for why men behave poorly, as illustrated by Netflix in this promotion:

Four years after COVID hit, Simpson thinks the lessons learned sadly show we’re more the same than we’d care to admit.“We didn’t cure COVID. We just stopped caring,” he says, noting that the difference between conservatives and liberals was simply a matter of how soon or how long it took to pretend life should go back to normal. To the point now where Simpson can fairly mock himself and us at the same time for treating mask-wearing much the same as condom-wearing.

Simpson also finds a way to re-examine Cardi B’s 2020 smash hit, “W.A.P.,” to assess just how much power women can leverage with their sexuality to ruin a relationship or a nation, and manages to tie his theory in neatly to the rise and fall of the British royal family.

After a bit in which he jokingly suggests only three reasons he’d be willing to punch a woman (one involves consent, and another money), Simpson boasts he won’t hide behind the cover of comedy as art or that if you’re angry, he was only kidding. “There’s no lessons in my jokes,” he says, maintaining it’s purely coincidence if you do get something out of his act.

And yet, despite his insistence earlier that he couldn’t convince his fellow Marines to be less racist, Simpson clearly wants to push your buttons and there’s more than a small chance that in doing so, you might re-evaluate your own belief systems.

At the start, it’s issued as sort of a boast: “I like to start out with my racial material, just to see who’s a bitch, you know?”

But his intent at the start and at the end is similar, telling his audience that they’re afraid to admit they’re even a little bit racist or a little bit gay. Simpson wants you to know it’s OK to acknowledge your fears, no matter how irrational they may be, whether it’s noticing the racial demographics of a room or having the barber incidentally brush up against you while giving you a haircut. It doesn’t seem right to Simpson that women can go through a full lesbian phase in college before deciding they’re straight, while men cannot even laugh at a joke about men being sensitive without worrying they’ll be categorized. Nobody is 100 percent straight, Simpson jokes, and anyone who tells you differently shouldn’t be trusted.

Brian Simpson: Live from the Mothership 2024 Movie Review