Chris Hardwick jumps headfirst into life’s discomforts on his newest special Funcomfortable premiering Saturday, April 30th at 10pm ET/PT on Comedy Central. The title is an apt pun for his special, the cover bearing a cute promotional flyer of a very tearful Hardwick. Crying from laughter or crying from the tragedy of life? This is some real Shakespeare stuff going on here. The special starts with the cognizance of existence and asking his parents, “where do babies come from?” Which sets the tone for a series of bits about grappling with the milestones of life.
Recorded at the beautiful Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, Hardwick opens with discomfort at the top of his set: “Thank you for your conditioned response,” right into “very kind of the audience to take a break from their hourly required protest.” He riffs amply on the city of San Francisco, and then directly approaches with audience with how he’s about to start, “by saying something weird and inappropriate.” The @midnight host wastes no time putting everyone on notice for what is to come.
Funcomfortable covers many of life’s hard times. Hardwick jokes about sex talks with his parents, embarrassing sexual encounters, and his career including Talking Dead and Singled Out. He even opens up about the death of his father. He says, “comedy is armor to protect us from the smoldering sh*twich that is life sometimes.” Anyone who has experienced loss, rejection, awkwardness, and anxiety can relate. At a couple of points, the audience is baited for similarities. A nurse blurts out about a broomstick removal on the job. An author shares about the rejection of his novel that happened that day. The discomfort would be hostile if Hardwick wasn’t already exposing himself and making it fun.
The special stays true to the Nerdist founder’s public persona by including references to C-3P0, Back to the Future, anime, and Transformers. The relationship between being an adult nerd and having crippling anxieties is a goldmine. One such example is when trying on a kigurumi — an anime themed body fleece — Hardwick quipped, “it’s like your entire body is hugs that are being hugged.” He was wearing the onesie for a girl with a fetish. These layers add a richness to the jokes. His arsenal includes everything in a comedian’s handbook: puns, adult language, and contextualizing the scenarios of funny. There are even moments when the crowd gets to experience his character work. He utilizes all this very well, and he engages the audience while still being an apprehensive dork.
In this next clip, Hardwick contemplates the soul yodeling rock music of the 90s and explains what kind of dude identified with it.
Hardwick is looking back on his life wondering what is it he will leave behind. The theme of legacy comes up more than once. He’s engaged to be married. He’s lived a pretty full life. Self admittedly, he has been lucky, but he still has issues. He’s not sure if he can have kids because his “sperm is too self centered.” Whatever the case, with kids or without them, Funcomfortable is funny midlife reflection. If Hardwick decides to have kids and come back with another album, that would be just fine.
Be sure to watch Funcomfortable premiering Saturday, April 30th at 10 pm ET/PT on Comedy Central. The deluxe album version hits stores May 3rd via Comedy Central Records which you can get right here.