This week I will be reviewing the special Jeff Garlin: Our Man In Chicago. I have seen Garlin’s work before on the television show The Goldbergs but I had never seen a special or TV show starring him. In this special, with all the focus on him, Garlin exceeded my expectations.
From the very beginning, he was comfortable on the stage and kept the feeling light and positive. He was able to convey his jokes in ways that had the entire audience laughing. Garlin showed everyone watching why he has made it big in the entertainment industry; his style.
Garlin has a unique style, where he starts on a script but will go off the script whenever it comes naturally. Like literally, he will start a joke and then ten words in to it he’ll just go ahead and switch what he is talking about because he is thinking of something else, and it keeps the show super authentic. Garlin was able to keep the show active and energetic without doing all the work by using his off-script style and interacting with various audience members, ultimately improving the quality of the special.
If you have read my column before, you probably know how much I love some good audience interaction, and Garlin did not disappoint. The way the show was set up, he was on a stage, but it had steps leading into the audience, and the audience was in casual chairs around tables and had a walkway down the middle.
Garlin was able to walk down the stairs and be right in the audience without any problems. He was able to make jokes with so many people, and I mean so many audience members, which plays perfectly into his style of improvisation. Garlin was able to have dialogue with the audience that was so natural and funny it seemed like it was scripted.
Garlin has so many tools in his bag that it is hard to keep track of them all. The main one that he utilizes well is his storytelling ability. He uses a technique where he repeats parts of the story to add humor and laughs, and it works so well, add that with the high-low technique, and it puts him as one of the best storytellers out there.
Garlin’s up and down storytelling keeps the audience on their toes and laughing, even if he might exaggerate a little, it doesn’t change the fact that Garlin is so good at communicating the stories and making the audience die laughing at what he spews out.
Sometimes, he will randomly yell during his set, which always causes laughs and adds energy to the overall special.
This special has been by far my favorite I have viewed for this column thus far. The humor is relatable, the comedian is comfortable, and the audience is involved. It has all the makings of an amazing comedy special, which is exactly what it is.
I would suggest this special to anyone who loves comedy, and I would give it five out of five stars.