I would like to take this opportunity to note that I have recently become a Dylan Rhymer fan. I wasn’t sure it was going to happen – I’m stubborn – but his State of the Week ranting and his new special have finally done it.
That’s right folks. This is going to be another positive review for a Live at the Waldorf special. Shocking, I know.
Let’s start with the bad stuff, and then we’ll move on to the part where I ramble about how great it was.
1) There are a few moments when Rhymer gets so swept up in what he’s saying that he fumbles words. Fortunately, he’s got a knack for self-deprecation and manages to turn most of these fumbles into jokes-within-jokes.
2.) Rhymer yells in a few of his bits, which means he moves the microphone away from his mouth so he doesn’t deafen everybody. That’s very considerate and it works well on a live audience (he has no problem filling a room with his voice), but it means that the audio is a little inconsistent in the video.
3.) I wasn’t at the taping. (Selfish, I know, but seeing a set this good live is always better.)
Okay, this may be my favourite Waldorf special so far. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what made this any different from any other set of Rhymer’s – I’d seen many of the jokes before and was more impressed with them here – but I’m going to try.
It takes guts to go up onstage and talk about the hypocrisy of religion (Western and otherwise) and the challenges of being a pro-choicer. It’s even gutsier to do so when you know you’re being recorded. Rhymer doesn’t shy away from these topics, and I like that.
In these jokes, Rhymer captures all the hypocrisy-induced rage of being poor in a world-class city, and being left-leaning in a world that still, inexplicably, leans to the right. He’s almost incoherent with frustration in some spots, and you can’t help but feel his pain.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Rhymer’s got a flair for the theatrical, too. He acts out everything from an elderly version of himself to farting on pro-choicers in an elevator. It adds a bit of silliness to the mix, making what may otherwise have been slightly off-putting cynicism something friendlier and more relatable.
So, yeah. Buy this. (Unless you’re a Republican-supporting, pro-life protesting Catholic priest, of course.)
Dylan Rhymer’s Live at the Waldorf special is available for just $5 here. While you’re there, make sure to check out the other specials in the series. They’re all great, and they’re all just $5. (And no, we weren’t paid to say that.)