‘Mike Epps: Ready To Sell Out’ Review: Netflix Special That Is As Bland As A Piece Of Cardboard

Go to Google Images and search with the keyword “Michael Scott poker face,” and you’ll know exactly how I felt while watching Mike Epps: Ready to Sell Out on Netflix! I mean, to save you the trouble, I’m going to tell you right away that it’s unimaginably unfunny and to a great extent problematic, but that Michael Scott face is the perfect pictorial description of the whole thing; excuse me for The Office reference. 

Advertisement

Let me put things further into perspective here. Years ago, I went to see a stand-up show. A friend of mine invited me there, and he was supposed to perform, along with a lot of other budding stand-up comedians. Anyway, my friend got cold feet and couldn’t perform, and he never went that way, career-wise. The others did, and they all tried their best, but it was mostly mellow. Then came the surprise as an established name (I sadly don’t remember; otherwise, I would have named) took the stage, and the crowd suddenly came alive. They started to laugh loudly at every joke this popular guy was telling. Now the thing was, those were as unfunny as the jokes the amateurs were telling before. Here’s a profound example: this guy asked somebody from the crowd what they did. The person humbly replied that it was just an eight-to-eight job. The comedian asked the question back, as if he couldn’t hear the answer. The guy obliged again, and this time the comedian pretended to hear “hate to hate” instead of eight to eight and made a desperate attempt to roast the guy instead. 

The reason I brought this up here is that Mike Epps’ comedy special reminded me of the irritation I felt during that evening. I got through it only because I could comfort myself by telling myself that this is after all a work thing and I am going to get paid to sit through it. My apologies for (probably) being too harsh. Comedy is a very unique kind of thing that could be perceived in loads of different ways. A joke that makes you laugh might not be my thing, and vice versa. But even with all that said, most of the things Mike Epps tries here don’t really work out. The jokes don’t land, the physical comedy seems forced, and the impressions feel like a pale shadow of the real thing. 

Advertisement

Epps began with talking about big girls and skinny girls. It’s understandable that he clearly meant something else and not “big,”  but he had to be careful because this is Netflix and the whole world’s going to see it. This is not a criticism of the subject matter. I do believe there should not be any restrictions, especially when it comes to stand-up comedy. A person should always have the freedom to talk about anything and everything, no matter how uncomfortable, dark, or insensitive that might be for us. But some laughter has to come out of that, right? Otherwise, what’s the point? Epps’ opening fell flat, and the things he brought up right after that, only to conjure some comedy, happened to be as basic as toilet paper and men’s habit of not cleaning one particular private body part after pooping. It was tiring to see Epps going on and on about the consequences (mainly itching) from that. He laughed a lot while telling that, and so did the audience, as they were meant to, but that failed to add any zing to the whole thing.

Things only got worse with Epps’ black racism bit, where he essentially made fun of black people because, being one by himself, he has the license—only it was not funny and mostly cringeworthy. It looked a little better when he started to talk about his experience of planning to join the military but not being able to crack the exams. By this time, I felt relieved, thinking that there wouldn’t be any laughter, but at least Epps would now stop telling lame jokes and get into personal stuff. It is always refreshing to see people courageously sharing what they have inside or what they’ve gone through in life, so in that context, it was a good move. But then Epps decided to brag about never missing a child support payment and then whine about spreading his genes way too much and putting into people who apparently don’t “deserve” that, if you know what I mean! Sure, it was all in good humor, but who does this man think he is, really?

Advertisement

Nothing could save Mike Epps: Ready to Sell Out after that, and I was not surprised to see the guy relying on real events like “Will Smith slapping Chris Rock” to make his point, which basically said black women (read Jada Smith here) are infamous for bullying. These women also make their men’s lives pretty much hell if the man is an unemployed boyfriend or husband, according to Epps. He gleefully blabbered about how men who don’t earn are tortured by their earning partners of the female kind. I kept asking myself again, Where’s the fun?

Coming back to the not everything is for everyone argument again, I do believe Mike Epps has an audience. Otherwise, he wouldn’t get to do a Netflix special, which is basically getting an opportunity to add life to his not-so-flourishing career in the movies. The only thing that I probably liked was the man actually admitting that he can’t really earn the bucks at the movies anymore and now feels compelle to try his hand at other things, in order to stay relevant. The name of the special sounds perfectly fitting in that way! Sadly, the things Epps is saying to stay relevant are anything but relevant anymore. The world has moved away from toilet jokes, Donald Trump, criticizing the USA for practicing so many illegal things, as well as religious jokes. A twelve-year-old would probably come up with a funnier joke than a man of faith hiring security with machine guns to protect himself instead of seeking help from God, just saying!

Advertisement

With everything said, Epps actually had an opportunity to finish off things on a rather good note when he brought up the incident of a homophobic man being saved by his gay neighbors after being heavily injured. But then he overcooked it, and all we were left with was a sense of irritation and displeasure. I didn’t plan to launch a scathing attack on someone I don’t even know in person, but after getting to know about Epps’ used to mock autistic children in his earlier standup and going through Mike Epps: Ready to Sell Out, this is the best I could come up with, and I absolutely don’t regret it!


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.

Latest articles

I don't even know in person, but after getting to know about Epps' used to mock autistic children in his earlier standup and going through Mike Epps: Ready to Sell Out, this is the best I could come up with, and I absolutely don't regret it!'Mike Epps: Ready To Sell Out' Review: Netflix Special That Is As Bland As A Piece Of Cardboard