Published Jul 26, 2019Michael Kosta is dead charming, and can make you feel conflicted. He easily conjures a feeling of familiarity, because he's reminiscent of a smarmy, preppy villain in college movies of yesteryear. But you like him — he's the one guy you knew from the fraternity you actually liked. He's a straight, white male, but, he appears to be in on it. Or is he? He is. But is he? His JFL show will have you guessing, and that's good.
It's not until the very end that he discusses being a "straight white" — so tough for him out there. Rather, this is a set that addresses the privilege of having mundane things to complain about — and getting really mad about it. Getting pissed about millennials (there's a young guy in the audience with a man bun named Dante who is the perfect case study for this), and Kosta gets insane about the hot women in Montreal (they know what they're doing!). In that sense, it may be a step back to a different time in comedy. But it also reminds us that yes, there has been progress. It's been a painstaking, trial-and-error pace, but there's been progress. It reminds us that comedy breaks through.
This mostly works, and it's because that's not all he's doing. There are breaks from this that are more grounded. He's from Michigan, lives in New York now (he never once references his Daily Show membership), and hates it. Why? Because no matter what time of year, it's wet. From rain, sweat, dysfunctional air conditioners — wet.
This leads into a bizarre bit about Leonardo DiCaprio movies with audience participation, and it flies. There are generational observations again. He's a "vintage millennial" at 39, so he wasn't wearing helmets as a child, like Dante surely did. But compared to his grandmother's generation he's a wasteful jerk — he once replaced a couch because the stairs of his new apartment were "quite steep."
When it works, it really works. He's definitely a straight white male, and he'll just have to live with that.