Chris D’Elia speaks his own personal brand of gospel at JFL NorthWest

Stand-up comedian Chris D’Elia films a Netflix special at Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre


Stand-up comedian Chris D’Elia took to the Vogue Theatre stage last Friday night (February 24th) for two back-to-back shows and faced a crowd that had previously been unaware that this particular night would be a Netflix special. 2015’s Incorrigible had D’Elia making the rounds with Netflix, and it seems like the powers that be thought the JFL NorthWest comedy festival in Vancouver would be a great setting for D’Elia’s next filmed comedy hour. California original and current Vancouver-loving comedy up-and-comer Dino Archie kicked off the show, which was the perfect pairing. His laid-back comedy style offered a nice contrast to D’Elia’s often-frantic delivery. Los Angeles-based comedian D’Elia is known for many things, one of which is the mega-viewed stand-up routine he did in 2013 where he perfectly impersonated drunk girls. That, in essence, is Chris D’Elia. He basically embraces ‘frat comedy’ and throws in wild impersonations, as many ‘fucks’ as possible and all with these impossibly wild eyebrows.

Starting the JFL set with, “I know I look like a tired eagle,” D’Elia threw himself into a rant on the animal kingdom—ranking their badass-ness and ‘pussy’-ness. As is his style, he deprecated the audience, not in a heckling manner but more like a lecture to the tune of college humour. His point…”we are not special…you are not Denzel Washington…you are not the man on fire…we’re all extras in someone else’s movie”. All of this could have been much more enjoyable had it not been for the endless tirade of swearing. There is nothing wrong with swearing in stand-up—in fact, it often enhances the experience—but D’Elia’s potty mouth style is so overwhelming that it often drowns out the jokes. Material that could otherwise be deemed strong and witty was muddled and drained of quality by the persistent cussing.

D’Elia’s strengths are in his very true and obvious observations about the world around us. One of the most endearing portions of the evening had him speaking on love: “love is hanging with someone for too long.” Comedy on the reality of love is always enjoyable, and D’Elia’s knack for pointing out the obvious in an almost abrasive manner had the audience thrilled and laughing. As D’Elia so self-indulgently pointed out, “This isn’t even a comedy show, it’s a fucking TED Talk.” After funny—albeit ‘fuck’-riddled—bits on the general gayness of buying pants for a fellow dude and the adorable powers of a little girl when it comes to softening the heart of said hardened and street-savvy dude, D’Elia said goodbye to the Vogue audience. He was all at once a fellow bro, a grouchy thirty-something, and a class clown.