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Daily Helping for January 29th, 2021 – Rhys Nicholson

A promotional photo of comedian Rhys Nicholson for his stand up special Live at the Atheneaum.

This stand-up comedy special came across my dash earlier this week, and I immediately knew that I had found my Friday entertainment. It’s the end of the week, someone stole my bank card yesterday and went on a shopping spree, and so I really feel like laughing. I also feel like I should give a bit of a disclaimer before proceeding. If you’re looking for the standard comedy formula of set-up followed by a punchline, this is not the show for you. But if you’re looking for one of the wildest comedy rides you’ll ever take, Rhys Nicholson has got you covered.

I’m actually not even sure how to describe Nicholson’s comedy style. He tells these long, elaborate stories about horse tranquillizers, parents hoarding their kids hair, getting older, and his struggle with anxiety. And while you’d think that none of those would be treasure troves of laughter, he somehow makes them all hilarious. He also does this while talking about a mile a minute.

Listening to him speak, it’s almost as if his brain is moving faster than his mouth can spit out the words. I have no idea if this is just the way he talks or if this is a carefully rehearsed performance style, but I don’t care either way. He has a way of throwing one line asides into the middle of stories in a way that is so blink-and-you’ll-miss-it, it takes a moment for your brain to catch up. Which means that you’re constantly laughing at something he said three jokes ago, and all the while he’s just plowing ahead, piling absurdity upon absurdity. I’m sure that sounds exhausting, I promise you it’s not. It’s brilliant.

I had never heard of Rhys Nicholson until Netflix brought him to my attention, but now I want to see everything he’s ever done. Any comic who can make me do a spit-take over a joke about his dentist is someone I want to know.

Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!