The Jester’s Privilege ~ Taylor Tomlinson: Look At You
If you didn’t know Taylor Tomlinson before this year, I’ll let it slide. If you don’t know her going forward, I’m revoking your comedy pass.
I have been a fan of Tomlinson’s work for a few years now, which is to say I’ve been a fan of her entire career. I even went back to Wikipedia to find her head-to-head match up in Last Comic Standing with Michael Palascak, a man who is seemingly the cross between a librarian and the ghost of a butler. The worst part? Tomlinson LOST. Judge Norm MacDonald chalked it up to Palascak having more experience. I chalked it up to the two being judged by Norm MacDonald.
But the past is the past, and today, Taylor Tomlinson has made an impressive resume for herself at the age of 28. Already a Netflix regular, she appears on the Comedy Lineup and she toured for Quarter Life Crisis, her first hour-long special, when she was only 25. I had even made note of that special being my favorite of 2020, beating out veteran and celebrity comics like Jim Jeffries, Kevin Hart, and even some of my longtime favorites like Hannah Gatsby and Bret Kreischer.
Fast forward to Look At You, and Tomlinson smacked us in the face with yet another solid contender for the best special of the year. She kept her same wit, joking tone, and astronomical comedic talent, but tackled more sensitive and personal issues. Mental illness and mortality were big themes in this one which are some of my favorite topics in a comedy set (spoken like a well-adjusted, totally not damaged human adult). There is not a single dull moment in this special; no moment where I felt tempted to check my phone or derail to binge drinking to make the jokes more funny (trust me, it happens more often than you think).
Between her infectious smile and her ability to authentically and seamlessly move from snark to self-deprecation, Tomlinson gives us an hour with nothing but pure hilarity. I’m certain I’ll be raving about jokes for weeks, re-watch it, and cackle at jokes I missed because I was too busy laughing at the others. The only critique I could possibly give it is that it is not boundary-pushing in comedy, which is an insane strike to give someone, but that’s the level at which Tomlinson is working. The special is just her, and that is more than enough to entertain any audience member.
Taylor Tomlinson is talented, to the point where it is not fair. Any more notoriety, and I expect her to be regarded as one of the new faces of comedy. And if it takes that long for you to check Tomlinson out, I’ll be there to gatekeep the fuck out of your late and ungrateful ass.
… Okay, maybe I won’t, but you’ll be subjected to intense silent judgment at the very least.