Michelle Wolf shocks and entertains at Comedy Works
Wolf now focusing on feminism and sexuality
“I’m trying out some new material,” Michelle Wolf told her audience at Denver’s Comedy Works Downtown earlier this month.
After a controversial performance at the White House Press Correspondents’ Dinner in April, Wolf has already seen the premiere and cancellation, despite positive reviews, of her Netflix series The Break, which only aired 10 episodes.
Wolf will spend the remainder of the year on tour, which is arguably what’s best for her career since Wolf has gotten stronger reviews for standup than appearances on variety sketch series.
Though Wolf received a lot of attention earlier this year for her mockery of White House officials, members of Congress, and the press, her set in Denver focused on broader issues like feminism, social media, technology, and sex.
Surprisingly, though politics and current events were the focus of The Break, Wolf barely alluded to either President Trump or her infamous correspondents’ dinner performance, only saying near the end of her set, “People kept calling me vulgar… I think I learned to be vulgar from the president.” However, her set in Denver was overall more reminiscent of her 2017 HBO special Nice Lady, where she discussed menstruation and the “free the nipple” movement, than it was of her material on The Break.
It would be inaccurate to say her set was completely apolitical though. Wolf discussed at length her own experience with receiving an abortion, joking that afterward she “felt like God,” and criticized pro-choice activists who suggest that getting an abortion is something to be ashamed of even if they believe it should be legal.
On feminism, Wolf spoke more generically about behavior and expectations of women rather than addressing a recent event like the Kavanaugh confirmation. Wolf expressed irritation with the “body positivity” movement among women, as “not everyone needs to be beautiful. Men don’t worry about being beautiful.”
She added that she takes it as a compliment when people call her ugly because “if they still know who I am, then I must be a great comedian.”
It still seems something of a letdown that Wolf didn’t overtly address the current political climate as she is notably one of the only high-profile comedians who can effectively criticize both Democrats and Republicans. On The Break, she frequently mocked former President Clinton, both for his handling of the Lewinsky scandal over the years and for his recent questionable comments about the #MeToo Movement.
At her set in Denver, Wolf showed no qualms about mocking another Democratic Party icon, saying this of JFK: “You know he would have been Me Too-ed,” to the apparent shock of the audience. However, addressing JFK rather than someone who is still regularly in the news, like former Sen. Al Franken, has somewhat less of a sting.
It is possible Wolf would rather avoid discussing current events since many high-profile comedians, including her former colleagues Seth Meyers and Trevor Noah, already frequently mock the White House and Congress.
For anyone who’s a fan of Wolf for her vulgarity rather than her political commentary, she’s still vulgar, at one point in her set discussing prehistorical sex toys.
After the cancellation of The Break, Wolf is likely looking to find her footing moving ahead, and her raunchy set in Denver proves she has plenty to offer her fans going forward.
Comedy Works Downtown
in Larimer Square
1226 15th St.