Mo Gilligan’s Netflix special is lighthearted

Photo courtsey of Isabelle Adam, Flickr

As someone who is pretty much only familiar with American comics, such as John Mulaney and Bo Burnham, I did not really know what to expect going into a British comedy special. However, having watched British comedy shows such as “Chewing Gum,” I am familiar with the humor and enjoy it. “Mo Gilligan: Momentum” is a Netflix original, so I knew that it would not be anything of low standards. 

The special begins with a live band and Mo Gilligan rapping along with audience participation. The special is chock full of relatable content, from things such as being a kid and putting items in your mom’s shopping cart, to dancing with your family members at parties. A huge segment was spent on the joys of school. Not necessarily college, but middle and high school.

Gilligan’s material will make the average viewer think, “do we all live the same lives?” The audience was fully indulged and entertained throughout the full one hour and four minutes, as was I. Some of Gilligan’s jokes caused full-on, loud laughter, while others only caused a giggle here and there. 

It is key for a comedian to have a good range of humor levels. The live band being used from bit to bit kept the comedy upbeat and fresh, and it has made it easier to picture the scenarios he was referring to.

Gilligan laughs at his own jokes, and rightfully so. It is quite entertaining. Unlike some other comedians, Gilligan does not joke at the expense of others. Instead, he uses relatable examples and stereotypes that each person has lived through.

British slang such as “innit” and “bruv” is used throughout the special, but not to the point where it makes his jokes incomprehensible to American/foreign viewers. However, Gilligan’s use of the f-bomb throughout gave me mixed feelings. Occasionally it did heighten the comedic effect, but other times it felt overdone and excessive.

As stated before, Gilligan does not shy away from his musical talent. He uses the live band to his advantage, whether it be for rapping Rastafarian nursery rhymes or describing how upbeat the British music genre, garage, is. 

The comedy gig ends with Gilligan, once again, rapping with back-and-forth audience participation, all the while confetti is streaming down from the ceiling. You can tell that Gilligan has enjoyed his time on the stage, and the audience has enjoyed their time watching him. 

I recommend this to anyone who needs a quick and lighthearted laugh, without having to worry about the comedian making fun of others or the viewer being targeted. Some comedy specials are drawn out, but this one is short and sweet.

Gilligan keeps the viewer engaged and wanting more, always on the edge of their seats to see what the next punchline will be. I hope that Netflix continues to support and produce specials for non-American comedians, because they bring a lot to the table and deserve a spot on our streaming services as much as American comedians.

4/5 stars