Todd Glass experiments in comedy special

By Ginger Simons

Todd Glass’ newest stand-up special, “Act Happy,” just hit Netflix and is a must-see for all comedy fans.

Glass’ special breaks the comedy mold with rapid-fire material that verges on chaotic, covering a mixed bag of topics, such as pigeons, home improvement shows and declawing cats. The manic energy of the show is refreshing, and Glass’ delivery remains controlled despite the frantic pacing of the beats.

Glass is not afraid to experiment with mixed-media comedy throughout the course of this special, and the show features The Todd Glass Band, a group of performers who add flair to the bits with instrumental interludes and punches. At one point, Glass breaks into an original song he prepared in apprehension of not having enough content to fill an entire comedy special, singing “I didn’t think I’d have an hour of material”. He uses microphone effects and audience interaction to build upon an art form traditionally resembling an extended monologue. Glass, along with contemporary stand-up comedians, like Bo Burnham and Zach Galifianakis, are expanding the idea of stand-up into something more visually and musically innovative.  

The nature of Glass’ stand-up is lighthearted and based largely in minor frustrations with everyday occurrences and human behavior. However, near the end of the special, his anecdotes get a bit heavier. He reflects upon suffering from a heart attack at a young age and how this led him to finally coming out of the closet and living openly as a gay man. While never becoming too preachy or maudlin, these parts of the show seem genuine and give honest insight into the important subjects which shaped Glass’ worldview.

As more and more stand-up specials are being added to Netflix streaming, Glass’ new special is sure to stand out for its innovation, high energy and fun.