Ellie Taylor starts her Netflix special with a warning – “Condoms are not 100% effective. Especially when you don’t use one”, and the set mostly revolves around her current pregnancy. It’s a difficult show for me to judge fairly as I think bringing a child in to this hellish existence is a horrendous thing to do, especially given what the human race faces in the next couple of decades (fuel, power and water shortages, climate change, mass migration due to this and over population in general) and that doesn’t even take in to account the possibly ridiculously stupid things individuals might do. So to witness someone moan about pregnancy isn’t the kind of thing I’m able to enjoy, I wish it wasn’t like this I truly do but unfortunately it’s the case.
That all said I did do my very best to take each joke as if I wasn’t a twisted and fucked up individual and thankfully Taylor does have some funny material – she’s only had sex previously for fun reasons “like being drunk or revenge”, and an impression of very serious sex during an attempt at impregnating her raises a big smile. There’s also a decent enough dig at Ted Talks, a solid laugh to be had out of an embarrassing comment she made when four years old, a great moment where one audience member claps the idea of having an affair and a gag about “stupid boy babies” is okay too.
But even despite my own personal issues I couldn’t help but find a decent chunk of it fairly bland. At one point Taylor comments “Mick Jagger had a baby last year, and he looks like he’s been dug up” which is hardly the most original observation, jokes about how old Jagger is are almost as old as the man himself and this is pretty tired and unimaginative stuff. Discussing sobriety she mentions “Have you ever been to a wedding sober? It’s like a hostage situation with Bruno Mars playing” and that disappoints too, there’s a lot of mileage in exploring the highs and lows of weddings but she dismisses the concept with that one bland line before heading back to more complaining about having to be sober while with child, and the above two examples are the type of jokes she trots out all too often.
Other material about struggling with monogamy, Taylor’s lack of sexual partners and that she’s having a girl might make you vaguely smile but it’s unlikely to do anymore than that. It’s not a terrible set but it’s the kind of thing you’ll hear at many a comedy night where the comedians only get paid thirty quid for doing twenty minutes and while most comics end on their second best joke the show comes to an end with a pretty weak attempt at humour. If you’ve not seen much stand up or have extremely mainstream tastes Taylor might be the comic for you, but even if you find the concept of pregnancy joyous I doubt you’ll find a huge amount to laugh at here.