That the title of this special is “Too Many Smells” should have suggested it wasn’t going to be highbrow material, that it wasn’t going to be a mixture of Stewart Lee, Greg Proops and Paul F. Tompkins at their very best. But unfortunately it’s even worse then I feared, full of crappy jokes which are a mix of toilet humour and outdated commentary which didn’t even come close to raising a smile, let alone generate a laugh.
Swardson launches in to the show with a joke about diarrhoea which sets the tone for the following thirty minutes before then moaning about the disadvantages of being in your forties, like having a fat neck. It’s okay, better than the material which preceded it at least, but then it gets worse as he makes a joke about putting his dick in the mouth of a sleeping man. But surely that’s the absolutely low point, and that it has to get better, yeah? Alas no as he moves on to material about attempting not to fart on a plane but then doing so anyway, sounding like a “Tired snake”. Laugh? Giggle? Not feel rather angry? Nope, sadly that wasn’t the case, the impersonation of such a creature is so bland and the following comments about his “Shit genie” so tiresome that they started to make me actively dislike the man.
It does at least appear to improve as he comments how he never had kids just because he forgot, and that he’s going to protect his daughter by not teaching her how to walk, it’s a rare moment where the joke lands and provokes a smile. But then he ditches the subject and talks about a friend taking Xanax and then sleeping for eighteen hours, before taking on David Blaine, asking if people know who he is which is the kind of question only someone who’s been in a coma for ten years wouldn’t be able to answer positively. Attacking Blaine is something many comics have done in the past and so it makes the segment feel dated, and worst of all is that it’s subaverage stuff that made me cringe.
At this point I considered turning it off, as you might possibly have guessed I wasn’t exactly enjoying it, but just for anyone still reading this I stuck with it in case it suddenly became amazing and I’d persuaded you against giving it a shot. And it did, it became the funniest thing I’ve ever witnessed and okay I’ll stop lying now. Because material about getting stoned came next, which once again is a topic that several billion stand up comics have covered and in far more interesting ways. Despite being pro-weed he tells a story about a stoned friend who almost got him killed once, it has the potential to be funny but nah, it just doesn’t really go anywhere for far too long. Another story comes next, which Swardson introduces by asking “Has anyone here recently shit their pants?” so you can imagine the lack of hilarity which follows.
If you’ve a penchant for gross humour and lazy, dated observations then you might find it funnier than I did, the audience certainly seemed to be enjoying it to a certain extent and I am admittedly picky when it comes to stand up. But anyone who wants something a little original, a little unexpected and intelligent, well, you won’t come even close to finding it with Nick Swardson’s set.