By: The Cinephiliac (Six Beers) –
Stand-up comedy specials aren’t a novelty in our current cinematic cycle. The breadth of stand-up specials on Netflix and HBO alone are staggering. Entire decades can be defined by which stand-up comedy films emerged from them (I’m looking at you 1980s and Eddie Murphy’s Raw). It’s simple: cut together footage of audience reaction with various angles and framed shots of the performer. Invest in some adequate lighting, maybe a spiffy background, and you got yourself a stand-up special, no room for screw ups right? Katina Corrao’s newest stand-up Hot Date is a reminder that there is always room for error.
Don’t forget Delirious, too.
Katina may not be a household name or have that many credits to her name, but she’s got an extremely likable personality. She’s the definition of jovial. Katina possesses a gleaming grin and prompts big laughs for most of the special, making it hard to not like Katina as a person. She just seems so happy and nice. Plus, her audience loves her as they are right there with her for every joke and side comment she throws out.
Because the audience is never shown, I wouldn’t be surprised if every person in that small room listening to Katina are members of her family. I like to think that Hot Date is the kick-off event for a family reunion where an open bar helped the Corrao family embrace their relative’s bland sense of humor and delivery. Katina may be precious, but it’s difficult to enjoy Hot Date mostly because it’s just not funny. She’s a New York comedian with the humor of a North Dakota native. There’s nothing engaging, relatable, or hilarious about any of her stories.
You wanna hear about a lonely love life? I have hundreds of tales!
Besides only chuckling about three times, Hot Date put me to sleep. Actually, it was a combination of that and the horribly greasy lunch I ate. While watching Hot Date I moved from my chair to propped up in my bed to nearly comatose about 30 minutes in. Hot Date lacks the punch to draw you in. This mixed with delicious fried chicken and macaroni and cheese turned out to be a perfect cocktail for a Thanksgiving style nap.
The camera work is god-awful and completely void of any creativity. There is no director, only a “video courtesy of” credit. Which just indicates one of Katina’s friends used their phone or an archaic camera to record the performance. They do so using the same angle with the occasional pan left or right as she moves. This begs the question, if no effort was put into capturing the special, then why even promote it or ask others to see it? After all, we are reminded constantly that this is just the recording of Katina’s album recording. So, in essence this doesn’t even need to be seen physically by an audience.
Almost done… must stay awake.
It is one thing to be a comedian and have a little notebook on stage to reference jokes every now and then throughout your set. It’s another when you seemingly have a typed syllabus of your entire set which Katina seems to have. Front and back.
Hot Date was recorded in the 2015, yet somehow it looks like something straight out of 1995. Maybe it’s the poor video quality combined with the lack of cinematic glamour, but this just feels dated and out of touch.
Katina seems like a sweetheart, but her self-deprecation begins to boarder on annoying as her jokes constantly revolve around being alone and single. This is a standard troupe visited by female comedians who are usually outside of the mainstream standards of beauty. Amy Schumer and Maria Bamford are two comedians who have placated this common comedic theme, making it into their own by fusing tales of sexual promiscuity or mental health into them. Katina does nothing unique with her stand-up or the presentation of it, making for an unfortunately forgettable entrance to the genre.
Hot Date (2015) Drinking Game
Take a Sip: every time Katina talks about her love life
Tape a Sip: every time she laughs at her own joke
Do a Shot: every time you laugh (chuckles count).
Take a Sip: every time she looks at her notes
Take a Sip: for ever side comment she makes to the audience that beats a joke over the head.