Comedians of the World episode 6 recap: Canada’s Ivan Decker


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 Ivan Decker.

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.

Ivan Decker

Originally from Vancouver, Ivan Decker is a Los Angeles based stand-up comedian and actor. Decker has appeared on Conan and at Just for Laughs Montreal. You can hear him on Sirius XM or by listening to his debut comedy album I Wanted to be a Dinosaur. Decker played the role of Germaphobe Date on the Canadian web series Girls vs. The City.

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Underwater Scissors

Of the six half-hour sets I’ve recapped for Comedians of the World, I’d have to say Ivan Decker is the polar opposite of Nick Swardson. He’s safe, clean, and wearing a suit. It becomes clear from the very start that Decker is an observational comic. That’s always a tricky way to go for comedians because you’re relying on your audiences’ ability to share a lot of your reference points.

The opening monologue is about the irony of being able to buy a lobster at an airport and carry it on to a plane. Meanwhile, you’re not allowed to carry three ounces of shaving cream onto the same plane. It did make me smile. But you can hide things in cans of shaving cream if they have false bottoms. And, no. I’m not talking Jurassic Park dinosaur DNA. You could fit drugs, a pipe, or a small detonator in a can of shaving cream. So it didn’t quite add up for me.

I know. That’s getting a little too anal about comedy. But, that’s an example of the line you walk when you rely completely on observational comedy. If your take is too safe, people can just consider the facts of what you’re saying. There’s another example of this when Decker talks about how filling your own cup at fast food restaurants is new and odd. Except that’s not new or odd in my life. I am a fat guy who’s eaten a lot of fast food, so maybe I’m just in the know on that.

Decker’s best and most original observation includes a discussion of horse vulnerability in The Walking Dead. It made a lot of sense. I had a why-didn’t-I-think-of-that moment. I laughed out loud through most of that bit. I will happily cite Decker in The Walking Dead show recaps in the future.

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Overall, Ivan Decker’s special is fine. It won’t challenge you in the way some of the other specials in Comedians of the World have. The underlying purpose may be to spotlight entitlement, but I doubt it. I still think Lobster Scissors is worth a listen or watch.

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