- Bug lets Twitter save your DMs—even after you delete them Friday 7:21 PM
- Guy mansplains song to Japanese Breakfast, the female artist who wrote the song Friday 6:38 PM
- Ann Coulter’s Twitter bio links to a vulgar parody account Friday 5:22 PM
- Popular YouTube music channel gets income yanked for ‘repetitious’ content Friday 4:14 PM
- New website will endlessly generate fake faces thanks to AI Friday 3:41 PM
- Man fakes getting stood up at Outback Steakhouse Friday 3:03 PM
- FCC looks to tackle robocalls and spoofed texts Friday 2:57 PM
- How to protect yourself from the data breach that affected 744 million accounts Friday 12:56 PM
- How to stream Rob Brant vs. Khasan Baysangurov online for free Friday 12:21 PM
- No, Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t have her boyfriend on her payroll Friday 12:20 PM
- Writers want this book canceled for misgendering its protagonist Friday 12:15 PM
- Trump Jr’s meme about his dad’s border wall doesn’t get how Congress works Friday 11:44 AM
- FBI reportedly looking into Ryan Adams’ communications with underage girl Friday 11:25 AM
- Trump does Chinese accent, declares national emergency, bewilders the internet Friday 11:21 AM
- Chrissy Teigen throws shade at Logan Paul-Kaitlin Bennett pairing Friday 10:48 AM
‘I Told You So’ a crowd-pleasing introduction to global force, Harith Iskander
Malaysia’s ‘godfather of standup’ comes to Netflix.
One of the major benefits of Netflix‘s takeover of standup specials is that its library offers a crash course on the people you need to know. Americans are woefully behind the curve on international comedians. Outside of the most prominent headliners, mostly U.K.-based performers, we have a lot of catching up to do.
One of those comedians is Malaysia’s “godfather of standup” Harith Iskander. His work, which made him the Laugh Factory’s Funniest Person in the World in 2016, is an extension of personal and cultural experiences as an outsider. He attended college in Australia, and riffs on borders.
His special I Told You So is a good introduction to Iskander and his comic sensibility—a mix of crowd work, goofy observational bits, and personal stories. In other words, it’s like most of the specials you’ve seen.
I Told You So opens with 10 minutes of Iskander talking about how he landed on the special’s name. I understand if you give up on the special before he moves on from this bit, as there are too few laughs to inspire confidence. But Iskander has a gregarious stage presence that helps take the sting off the jokes that don’t work. He has the easy confidence that comes with over 25 years of experience. There is an extended bit about “Singaporeans do it like this, and Malaysians do it like this.” The crowd guffaws at the light cultural jabs. I laughed thinking about Tracy’s “white people dial the phone like this” bit from 30 Rock.
By the finale of I Told You So audiences have a good understanding of Iskander. In that sense, Netflix accomplishes its mission. You can (of course) add his other specials to your queue and get a feel for his evolution. As a one-off experience, I Told You So is a cordial hour. Iskander is a fun performer, and even when the material doesn’t land, you’re comfortably along for the ride.
Still not sure what to watch on Netflix? Here are our guides for the absolute best movies on Netflix, must-see Netflix original series and movies, and the comedy specials guaranteed to make you laugh.
Eddie Strait is a member of the Austin Film Critic Association. His reviews focus primarily on streaming entertainment, with an emphasis on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other on-demand services.