|Funny, if not strictly necessary.|
I'm not saying it's not funny. In fact, it's probably the most laugh-out-loud funny of all the topical desk-based comedy shows. John Oliver puts the jokes between the serious bits, and with Samantha Bee, you're more agape in awe at the dead on, palpable hits she scores on everybody she targets.
Jefferies' show is, appropriately for him, way more joke-heavy. But other than that, it follows a VERY standard structure of monologues and a field piece. The field piec, a pretty standard "this interview subject doesn't realize what he's saying" bit in Holland about their racist Christmas mascot, Black Peter, is elevated by Jefferies' trademark bluntness.
Jefferines has spent a lot of his career arouind that tricky "ironic racism", "outlandish character", "politically incorrect provocateur" line that Bill Maher spent so much of the past week on the very wrong side of. He pulls it off in the premiere, and he's generally been more successfulat it in recent years, making it clear that his heart's in the right place when his jokes aren't. More Jeselnik than Tosh. Can he maintain it? We'll see.
On the upside, Jefferies is super-confident and super-comfortable in his new role, and the show is produced with the kind of competence you'd expect from the incredibly familiar format. I'm glad it's weekly, and not daily, though the actual Daily Show could learn a lot from Jefferies' and his staff's joke-writing.
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