I've been a big fan of Gary's for years since I first saw him on the cult hit, "Tourgasm". I was thrilled to see his new special arrive on HBO/GO but thought twice before pressing play. Recently, the new stand-up specials (I'm looking at you Netflix) have been, to say the least, divisive with one Dave Chapelle as an example. It's been tough for me to get through an hour special lately, especially when most of the content has felt contrived or over-worked or even defensive when it comes to the current topics like white privilege or sexism. So, I hesitated before remembering Gary has always been sensitive and hilarious. I'm so pleased I went for it.
Within the first three minutes, I took a big breath and sigh of relief because it became very evident that Gary Gulman is woke AF. Not just because he speaks in a tone of empathy, but because he is relatable, vulnerable, and hella funny to boot. He is a middle-aged, straight, white man (the current public enemy number one) but instead of being defensive and trying to turn it into comedy, Gulman uses his advantageous position to compare and contrast his experiences (most not so great) to those around him.
Gary exploits his illness of depression, or "depresh", in a fresh and relevant way which makes the audience feel connected and helps us relate, even if we don't suffer from mental illness ourselves. The style of the special is reminiscent of Hasan Minaj's special "Homecoming King" that earned him the massive hit show "The Patriot Act". "The Great Depresh" could potentially earn Gary an Emmy nod, if not, another show asap.
It's a beautiful blend of nostalgia, heart ache, and hilarity that you just can't miss.