Film Review: OUT ON STAGE (USA 2018) ***

Out On Stage (Movie Version) Poster

Something different for the New Year?  The stand-up comedy “OUT on Stage: The Series” hosted by Zach Noe Towers, releases Jan. 17th on the usual streaming platforms.  Produced by Comedy Dynamics and Dekkoo, “OUT on Stage: The Series” features an eclectic lineup of renowned LGBTQ stand-up comedians.  

It is so rare that a grouping, let alone a series of all queer stand-up comics even exists.  The host is Zach Noe Towers, an LA-based comedian, actor, and writer who was recently named one of Time Out Magazine’s “2018 Comedians to Watch.”

OUT ON STAGE is comprised of 6 episodes, each episode with 3 gay stand-up comics, all introduced by Towers.  Towers gets to do his routine in Episode 2.  Needless to say, not all episodes are of the same standard.  A few are funnier, just as a few others are better than others.

Host Towers can get a bit annoying with his infectious laughter, but one has to give him credit for trying.   He does even give the worst jokes (the trans-ginger joke and the corny ‘all the comedians here suck’) a go.

All the comics share a few things in common.  They all make fun of themselves being gay.  The jokes also get dirty and the language occasionally foul, though one may argue there is no need to be.  As with all comics, timing is of the essence.  As all the comics come on stage one after the other, one would automatically make a list of the favourite ones and the ones who really suck, and not in the sexual way.

Here are the episodes:

Episode 1:

The first episode is quite hilarious, setting the tone for the other 5 to be watched.  The first is Jared Goldstein who demonstrates expert timing in the delivery of the material.  The second one, Ranier Pollard is the best of the three.  He is black, muscular and comes on stage with super-tight pants.  These muscles are just for show, he quips, they are for my ‘instagram’ followers.

Episode 2:  This, to me is one of the most mediocre of the episodes.  The host Towers is the first comic in this episode.

Episode 3:  The first comic Gloria Bigelow is the best of the lot, generating the most laughs of the episodes.  She, the first one one, makes fun of being gay, black and a woman while tackling topics like hairy bears.  The third comic is a butch lesbian, A.B. Cassidy, who could have been funnier.

Episode 4: The first comic in this episode cracks jokes mostly on drugs, completely omitting gay humour.  He could very well be a straight comic for all that matters.  The drug jokes come out awkward and are not really funny.  Funny however is the second comic, Chris Bryant, whose infectious good nature helps the audience love him.  He demonstrates expect comic timing.  He is the one who cracks the dirtiest of all the jokes and gets a good laugh from it.  Joe Dosch, the third comic does more jokes on South Dakota where he is from than gay jokes, but the South Dakota jokes are funny.

Episode 5:  Julian Michaels, the second comic proves again the black comics are the funniest.  The majority of his jokes are ‘coloured’ ones.

Episode 6:  The final episode leaves one wanting for more.  The last 2 comics are quite funny, particularly Eric Hahn who makes fun that he is now middle-aged and no longer looks gay.  The last one in contrast is a flaming queen making his delivery all the more flamboyant!