‘Steve Trevino: Simple Man’ Review: The Man Is Quite Problematic, And Sadly, Not Funny

What is a simple man? There can be many answers to this question, but according to Steve Trevino’s latest Netflix special, titled Simple Man, it’s a man who doesn’t need much to be content in life. Give him the time to watch the game, his food, and his friends, and that’s all he needs to be happy. He doesn’t need his wife to carefully curate a game-themed charcuterie board just because she loves him and would like to be involved in his things, even if those aren’t her things. The simple man finds it unnecessary. He would even criticize his wife, in a tone of mockery, for being the intruder at a party where she was clearly not invited. Yes, the simple man, as per Trevino’s comedy special, is basically an older dudebro. Now, here is the obvious question: Is there anything wrong with that? And the answer would probably be plenty!

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I do believe a stand-up comedian, or an artist should have the freedom of expression. There shouldn’t be any restrictions on anything. But just like the comedian can do anything, we can also point out the wrongs and rights of what they’re preaching on stage. I’m obviously talking about Trevino’s stand-up here. He appears to be a nice, energetic man on stage. Some of the jokes he tries are actually funny. But the major problem here is the content, which is entirely based on his own “simple man” analogy, and you can smell the innate patriarchy from miles away.

It’s not that Trevino is a bad person; at least he can’t be called one based on a Netflix special. He doesn’t seem like somebody who would abuse their wife or hurt their daughter. In fact, he keeps repeating how much respect he has for his wife. And how much he loves his daughter. That does feel very real. The man is speaking his truth. The problem here is his upbringing. It gets evident from the way he glorifies his hard as nails father’s hands-on approach to parenting as well as his mother for being a picture of conventional, stereotypical femininity. There is nothing wrong with the latter, but the way Trevino puts the whole thing of a man providing and a woman nurturing as the ideal way of life is probably not the wisest thing to do. He keeps mentioning how he’s so fond of his childhood, where his mother used to let him sleep for an extra five minutes and keep his clothes warm. In stark comparison, his father did no such things and used to take Steve and his two sisters to school in a crammed-up truck that smelled like alcohol and male testicles. This is a clear implication of the comedian growing up with a very typical ideology and beliefs.

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Trevino regrets not being able to implement the ideal ways into his own life. He utters the phrase “my wife” at least fifty times in the whole thing. But each time, it’s something that she has done to him. And this wife-depreciating humor runs the whole show. Trevino does tell us that for someone as dumb as him, she is way out of his league. He also mentions that she used to be a great student and a valedictorian. But he uses that information only to bring himself into the equation and indirectly prove that he’s actually better. Yes, one might argue that being smart is more important than academic knowledge, but one doesn’t really need to subtly insult their valedictorian wife in front of a live audience to prove their point! 

I’m probably being too harsh here. Trevino does give off a boomer uncle vibe—someone who might be problematic in terms of their worldview but is never harmful. But the problem is, this uncle is on Netflix, and millions of people around the world are watching his show. Imagine a young boy getting inspired by the philosophy of Trevino’s simple man and deciding to follow the path! Although a piece of art doesn’t need to have any moralistic responsibility. I should probably keep the imagination to myself only. And the fact that Trevino is on Netflix only proves that he has many takers. There are tons of men in this world who will agree with everything this man says and will laugh at all of his jokes, especially the ones where he makes fun of his academically brilliant, “way out of his league pretty” wife!

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Yeah, you can always throw “It’s just a comedy show” in my face. But I often wonder about one thing while watching stand-up comedy, especially when the comedians start getting personal: is this person telling the truth on stage, or is it just for the sake of bringing out the laughter? So obviously, I went down the rabbit-hole of wondering how Trevino’s wife puts up with this guy before abandoning the thought as it was ultimately futile! My job is to review (and summarize) the whole thing, after all, and nothing else. I feel really bad for Trevino’s son, by the way, an eight-year-old who is being taught how to be a “man” in this cushy environment, compared to the grim reality that the father once had to endure. Of course, he treats his son better than his father used to treat him. He does tell the boy that he loves him, something his father never used to tell him. So there’s some progress, I suppose! 

If not all, at least some of it could be forgiven if Steve Trevino: Simple Man was at least funny. And I am talking about proper, haha-funny here, nothing else. Trevino fails to do that as well, although the live audience will probably disagree with me. Every time you feel like maybe he’s saying this all sarcastically, or maybe he’s eventually going to start the introspection, the man proves you wrong and tells another joke about his much superior wife. What Greta Gerwig did in Barbie with a dash of irony, Trevino does here unironically. Instead of talking for almost an hour, he could have just appeared on stage and started singing “I’m Just Ken”!

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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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If not all, at least some of it could be forgiven if Steve Trevino: Simple Man was at least funny. And I am talking about proper, haha-funny here, nothing else. 'Steve Trevino: Simple Man' Review: The Man Is Quite Problematic, And Sadly, Not Funny