Comedians of the World episode 5 recap: Canada’s DeAnne Smith


Netflix released Comedians of the World on New Year’s Day. It’s a collection of 47 half-hour comedy specials from comedians from around the world. Episode four features a set from Canada’s DeAnne Smith.

A quick recap of the show’s premise: Comedians of the World is a sampler and reference guide for stand-up comedy on a global level. There are four comedians from eight different regions around the world. At least one of the four comics from each region identifies as female.

Not all of the half-hour sets are traditionally staged as we think of it. There are episodes in languages other than English, which allows us to hear those comedians perform in their native language. There are sets in Spanish, Portuguese, and German just to name a few.

DeAnne Smith

DeAnne Smith is a Canadian stand-up comedian who has been performing for roughly 14 years. Her festival appearances include Just for Laughs, JFL42, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Her TV appearances include Last Comic Standing and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

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More from Netflix

You can check out her podcast, DeAnne Smith’s Questionable at Best on Sound Cloud. Smith has a curated list of videos on YouTube. And, if you’d like to see DeAnne Smith in a city near you, check out her tour dates.

The Gentleman Elf

Of the five half-hour sets I’ve seen, DeAnne Smith easily had the best connection with her audience. She was there to make people laugh and she took care of business. But she brought the audience along with her. She wasn’t just doing comedy at a bunch of people in a room. Smith had control and got the kind of laughter that sometimes starts as low groans and slowly builds throughout the set.

Early into her set, Smith makes the side comment that “Oh. Some of these jokes are going to have a message.” They do have a message. There were two themes that I personally got out of it. Everything is grounded in reality. So, if you think something is too liberal or wild, just break it down. You’ll find how common and natural every part of it is.

The second thing I got from The Gentleman Elf was that social norms are forced on each and every group or thing on Earth. This wasn’t explained in some heavy-handed way. Smith illustrated it by observing the monolithic nature of every drugstore’s shampoo aisle.

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I often get irritated by people who claim to hate the concept of political correctness while they, themselves, are politically correct to their core. This is the comedy special for them. It’s like an intervention. Smith smoothly highlights the message of her set while making the audience laugh. She brings them all along with her on this group experience with some truly funny premises.

I recommend DeAnne Smith’s Comedians of the World Netflix Special: The Gentleman Elf. Or, as a proper critic might put it: ‘DeAnne Smith is brilliant. The transmasculine house mouse combines the sagacity of age with the vulnerability of youth in their first Netflix special.’ If you watch the special, which you totally should, that will make perfect sense. Next up: Ivan Decker.

Are you streaming Comedians of the World? Who’s your favorite comedian so far? Let’s discuss in the comments!