The beautiful Tron-like stage LEDs and the auditorium lights dim. One singular light comes on as Kenny Sebastian picks up his guitar for what is the final act of his new Netflix special The Most Interesting Person in The Room. As he does a demonstration of ‘Lazy Indian song singing’ in his quintessential Kenny + guitar style; all of the lights nearly fade to black to indicate an outage, or a deliberate act of God or Man. It’s a neatly scripted act. The fade to black is meant to prompt Kenny to face his demons (his old music teacher?) and play the harmonium.
It is a pivotal moment in the special where Kenny goes meta – talking to an unknown power (stage crew) to let him continue doing what he’s comfortable with and not face his past, or his inadequacies, manifested as the classical Indian instrument – the harmonium.
But I suspect it was the stage crew telling our Paavam face comedian, in quintessential northern slang, possibly peppered with expletives that cannot be reproduced here, ‘Bas kar, ghar jaana hai’. Thankfully, the show ends soon after with a Hindi “fart joke” song sung in Kenny’s typical southern twang.
The Most Interesting Person in The Room, is Kenny Sebastian’s profound take on being average, being the underdog, managing failed expectations, and being comfortable with all of that that. The special is Kenny’s Hail Mary at claiming his place amongst the most talented English comedians in the industry, with a Netflix/Amazon streaming special to boot.
Let’s be honest, Kenny Sebastian is truly talented. However, the tragedy is that all of that talent is wasted on attempting comedy in this special. I didn’t think Kenny would take his concept keyword of ‘average’ so seriously that he would produce a special, a Netflix special, that is this forgettable. I jumped back and forth through the special, trying to find a segment that made me laugh.
There are no laugh out loud moments, and no profoundly funny moments either. As I skipped back and forth a second time, I registered Kenny playing to his strengths and doing his typical anthropomorphic segments about chappals and ostriches, stuff on short people, and eventually a gag about couples creating a ‘love shawarma’ and remembering Kenny’s face when they do.
The titular ‘The Most Interesting Person in The Room’ gag devolves into a bland joke about fat babies. At one point as I do a ‘time jump redux’ of this special, I start to suspect that it’s a laughter track and not the actual crowd reaction, because how could it be? The only saving grace of this special were its musical segments. They begin as impactful and memorable, with Kenny doing what he is good at. Eventually, they get squandered away in ill-advised fart songs.
In an interview I read about the special, Kenny said, “The one thing that unites us all, he says, is failed expectations.” His quote feels prophetic. Or, perhaps the entire point of the special is to run a larger metaphysical joke on reviewers. Perhaps that is the case, and I have missed the larger joke, and therefore this special is outstanding.
How else would you explain a Netflix special that did not elicit a single “LOL” from someone like yours truly, who admittedly has a very low threshold for fart jokes and dad jokes.
I mean how do you fail a fart joke?