Original Content podcast: Netflix’s ‘Nanette’ takes aim at straight white men and comedy clichés

This is the first time we’ve done an in-depth review of a comedy special on the Original Content podcast, but Nanette (which Netflix released last month) isn’t a typical stand-up show.

Hannah Gadsby starts off with some light, funny jokes about growing up as a lesbian in Tasmania, where being homosexual was illegal until 1997. But she soon veers away from joke-telling — in fact, Gadsby declares that she’s quitting comedy and starts analyzing the structure and content of some old jokes, asking difficult questions about who we’re laughing at and why.

Nanette can’t be boiled down to a one simple message, but perhaps the overriding theme is the need for stories with uncomfortable truths — versus jokes, with their tension-releasing punchlines. It’s led to articles declaring Gadsby to be the future of stand-up and wondering whether comedy is “broken.”

On this week’s episode, we’re joined by Brian Heater to talk about our reactions to the show — both to the way that Gadsby punctures the stand-up format and to her heartfelt call for more challenging and diverse stories.

We also discuss this year’s Emmy nominations, which, for the first time, saw Netflix beating out HBO for the most nominations.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You also can send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

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