World champion, Judah Friedlander breaks all the rules in his new Netflix special. "America is the Greatest Country in the United States." It clocks in at 84 minutes in length and was filmed in 15 minute increments at various venues around New York City.
Judah is a veteran comedian and actor. You probably know him from his role as Frank Rossitano on the uber popular NBC sitcom, "30 Rock." This was Friedlander's first comedy special, but it's already being considered among the best to have been released in a year that has a new special being put out every week by the online streaming juggernaut known as Netflix.
Friedlander describes it as a documentary or a movie but not a one hour special. All the conventional means of making a one-hour special have been dispensed with. So, you would come away feeling very disappointed if you were expecting to see swooping crane shots and cuts to the audience. There are none of those. It's almost as if someone set up an iPhone in the back of the room - In a good way. It's very intimate and has a level of originality and personality that we've never seen before with previous one hour specials.
This 84-minute special is also shown in black and white. Filmed with small prosumer cameras and a few audio DAT recorders for over a year in venues like The Comedy Cellar, the Village Underground and The Fat Black Pussycat in NYC, Friedman finally got a chance to complete a project that has been on his mind for many years.
After filming for about a year by trial and error methods, he has finally come up with a truly extraordinary and very novel special. If someone else had broken the rules like Friedlander has done, it would seem to be very gimmicky. However, Friedlander has created something that is pure and unadulterated. His special is brilliant.
The material in the special is non traditional as well. Friedlander begins with short set up and punch jokes for the first seven minutes. Then he laces in a few crowd work segments where he discusses contemporary happenings in the US with visiting tourist from other countries. As soon as he hooks you in with his fast paced come backs that you swear he had planted in the audience they are so well crafted he announces he is running for the Presidency of the United States. Following this announcement about twenty minutes into the special, he spends the rest of the time taking questions about his candidacy and what he would do if elected. Again, his responses are so well written and fast you would think he planted the people in the audience. Friedlander's crowd work capability is unmatched and extremely smart.
Friedman takes on a satirical take on the narcissism that surrounds modern day American culture. He also talks about exceptionalism in a very positive manner and this is what makes his Netflix special so extraordinary. This special introduces Friedman to the audience in a completely new format.
You can watch Friedlander's debut special, "America is the Greatest Country in the United States" streaming now on Netflix.