To a complete stranger, Kurt Braunohler is fairly indiscernible from any other 40-something white guy with glasses, but in reality he is one of the more unique thinkers of his generation. This is made abundantly clear with his latest Comedy Central special, Trust Me, which finds the comedian exploring the odds and ends of life through a perspective that is undeniably his own.
Opening with a few remarks about the city of Portland, where the special was filmed, Trust Me wastes very little time establishing a tone of slight absurdity that runs through the hour-long event. Braunohler’s comedic style is largely built around self-reflection and observation, peaking in places where those two ideas collide. As he explains shortly after his opening remarks, “At the end of this show I want to make sure that you would never trust me or anyone that looks like me, and I realized that’s difficult. I get it, I look like a camp counselor at a camp that only teaches feelings.”
This setup allows Braunohler to dive into various elements of his life and personality that seem normal on the surface, but are actually plagued by mistakes, half-truths, and a general sense of confusion as to how the world works. Whether it’s regretting the decision to make his wife’s dreams of riding in a hot air balloon come true, going to strip clubs alone, or his struggles with love as a young man, Braunohler has no shame about the life he’s lived. He may alter the events of a story to make it funnier, as he does with a bit involving a dish washer, but as soon as he earns the laugh he admits to his misdirection for no other reason than to further prove that he cannot be trusted.
What is most fascinating about Braunohler’s set is that it inadvertently reveals several simple truths about existence. Trust Me reveals fact the we are all weird and have an internal monologue that would come across as insanity to anyone other than us. He also touches on the fact we are inexplicably lucky to even exist. As he succinctly puts it, “the only reason we all exist is because millions and millions of years ago some dumb fish was like, ‘I want to walk on the ground.’”
As he closes with a story about beavers before literally ascending into the rafters, the one thing that we know for certain is that Braunohler has yet to hit his peak. The focus and structure of Trust Me shows immense growth over his previous hours, but there are certain moment that appears to have made their way into the set for the sake of helping the show reach the one-hour mark. A more refined version of this special would probably run five to ten minutes shorter, but as is Trust Me is still among the best specials we have seen in 2017.
Trust Me Premieres March 3rd on Comedy Central at midnight (12AM EST). You can then watch it on the Comedy Central app, or pick up your own copy.