‘Brian Simpson: Live From The Mothership’ Review: A Truly Relevant Standup By A Genuinely Funny Man

The first thing I did after I finished watching Brian Simpson: Live From the Mothership was Google the comedian. And I was quite surprised to find that the man doesn’t even have any official page. That, however, doesn’t really matter, as he still gets to be the star of a Netflix comedy special, although it doesn’t pay as much as you would think. That’s what Simpson tells us while making a playful jibe at his employers, which, I’m sure, wouldn’t land him in any trouble – because man’s going to make Netflix millions of bucks if he’s as funny as the recent stand-up! It’s hard to put Simpson’s standup in a particular bracket. At least for the first forty-five minutes, the man touches a lot of different topics. The final fifteen minutes do make it clear what the stand-up is really about, though: fragile masculinity and the consequences of it. Not to mention, that’s when it’s the funniest. Simpson surely knows how to finish things off with a bang!


But let’s talk about the beginning first. Simpson aces here too. It’s funny how he tells the audience beforehand that he’s kicking things off with the racism bits, taking a dig at the stereotypes of African-American comedians who depend too much on the racist jokes to make their audience laugh. With the backhanded mocking, Simpson only ensures that his stand-up is not going to go the usual way. And boy, he does keep his promise! 

Even with the rather conventional racist joke bit, Simpson plays around. He shares an experience when an Uber driver freaked out seeing him as a passenger, which, in his opinion, is a bit racist. The driver eventually apologizes for being startled, but with a lame excuse. She ignores the racist elephant in the room, but to please the passenger, she put on some rap music. I don’t think I’ve got to tell you the significance of that here! Simpson still acknowledges that she’s a great cab driver, but she got only 3 stars from him in the end. The clincher? The Uber driver was a black woman. Simpson, while having his audience in splits, very subtly points out the fact that there’s a bit of racism in everyone.


The comedian does stress that his only purpose is to entertain the audience, not give any deep, underlying message through his stand-up. That’s an obvious dig at many comics who attempt to do just that, but Simpson’s comedy special, despite what the comedian says, is actually insightful. But more importantly, it’s rib-tickling funny. Take the COVID joke bit, for example, which Simpson brings up in support of his statement, which says people all over the world are in their most aroused state at the moment. And that has a lot to do with being scared that life might just end. The pandemic was obviously the time when people had this fear the most, so they did what they had to do, and the result was a surge in the number of babies. Simpson extensively speaks about how Americans, being the most titillated batch of people in the world, decided to ignore COVID until it came to their doorstep and said hello! Not to mention, this solidifies another thing that Simpson establishes: science needs time, while stupidity is an instant thing. Not that we didn’t know that already, but Simpson makes sure that we at least get to laugh over it.

Is there anything that doesn’t work in the stand-up? The answer is sadly yes, as I feel the entire bit about the pressure to have babies, which people feel, and how it is different for men and women drags on way too much. However, it’s still funny, and you soon forget the dragging, considering Simpson has an endless supply of material and stories. And I feel the man is great at roasting as well—so much so that he would make Michael Scott proud. Cardi B would probably not feel good about Simpson bringing up the infamous “WAP” song and her husband’s cheating, unless she’s a good sport. Simpson doesn’t stop there; he picks up the term WAP (I’m obviously not going to write the full form, but you know what it is) and desecrates so many things, including the Royal Family of Great Britain. Does it take much courage for a comedian to address the dead Queen Elizabeth with the B-word in 2024? Probably not, given that Netflix themselves have successfully made a multi-million-dollar drama out of them, but watching someone publicly bashing that family is always a glorious thing to witness!


The entire special is a great ride overall, but it’s the final act when Simpson takes things into fifth gear. He calls himself a feminist and apologizes to the female audience for insulting them in any way, even though he never really does that. Just when you’re thinking this is where things fall off the wagon because the dude will now make a basic derogatory joke about women, Simpson comes up with two major twists. He comes up with three reasons for which he wouldn’t hesitate to punch a woman: the first being consent, which he clearly means in an erotic way; the second is if his mother gets stomped – even though he acknowledges that she’s a piece of work; and the third is if he gets fifty thousand dollars. The women in the audience can’t stop laughing, and neither can the men! But then comes the biggest trump card: Simpson’s scathing attack on masculinity, where he calls every single male at least 5% gay. He points out how men get so cautious about doing anything that might take their precious “masculinity” away, in comparison to a woman spending half of her life with tons of women before switching to a man and not being bothered about it. The self-imposed prison of masculinity or manliness is the reason for the doom of “man”-kind, and this coming from a man is extremely meaningful! But Simpson is not done yet; he has one last example to prove his point, and that is a secret about men no woman really knows. I could probably give it all away, but you should probably see the whole thing by yourself to find out—and also get a bit enlightened. Just in case you’re looking for a hint, it has something to do with your barber and your genitals. 

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Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra likes to talk about movies, music, photography, food, and football. He has a government job to get by, but all those other things are what keep him going.

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