Kurt Metzger is no stranger to controversy. From his Facebook post about the UCB Theatre to his online arguments with blogger Lindy West, the comic definitely knows how to push a few buttons. In his new hour special, White Precious, which premiered Friday night on Comedy Central, Metzger toed the line of edgy without ever actually crossing it. He talks about many topics some may consider offensive such as the use of the word cunt, pedophiles and being raped in prison, but it never feels like he goes too far.
Metzger takes the stage by stopping the audience’s applause and telling them to calm down because the special may not go that well. He keeps a good rapport with the audience throughout, making it feel like you are watching a comic who’s working a loose set in a club and not an overly polished television routine. In my opinion, this works. There isn’t a strong through-line, but it still kept my attention and had me laughing throughout.
He starts off strong with a joke about the way men dress to impress their “type” of women, following this by saying, “I don’t have a type. I just cast my net and get what I get. Sometimes it’s fresh tuna and other times it’s an old boot.” It was a great way to start off a special, with a solid, safe joke that’s guaranteed to get people laughing. It continues throughout, with Metzger hitting a bunch of different topics to keep the audience on their toes.
The name of the special comes from his final joke about an incident with an New York City taxi and a caucasian woman who happened to resemble the titular character from Precious (...you know, the one based on the novel Push by Sapphire). After the woman tried to steal a taxi from Metzger he politely asked her to share the cab and offered to pay for the fare. This caused her to freak out and accuse him of sexual assault in broad daylight, at which point he proceeds to list the reason why this is such a wild accusation, specifically because she looks like a white version of Precious. It’s a funny joke and a fun story that really helps you get to know Metzger’s personality. He doesn’t let people push him around but will also hide from the cops in a CVS for 20-minutes when he offends a woman and happens to have “a month’s worth” of weed on him.
Though I really did enjoy the looseness of Metzger’s performance, I would have loved to see him commit more to some of his bits. Watching the special, I felt as though he would start to get on a nice tangent about a specific topic, get a laugh, and then take a complete 180 to a new topic, sometimes even coming back to a topic he had already spoken about. The jokes are there and funny but he could have hammered them home a little harder.
I would suggest checking out White Precious to both Metzger’s fans and those unfamiliar with the comic, but outside of that I wouldn’t say it has much re-watch value. As much as I enjoyed it, I’d much rather wait and hear some of these jokes or new jokes in person, in an actual live setting, which is where Metzger really seems to shine.