Most of the world is familiar with Steve Rannazzisi from his role as ne’er do well league commissioner Kevin MacArthur from FXX’s The League, but he’s got a heavyweight comedy background including but not limited to being an alumni of the famed Groundlings organization. With the release of his special Manchild Rannazzisi takes to story telling with a delivery much like hanging out with your buddy at a bar and less like a comedy special, which brings a level of intimacy to the set.
Starting out the special with explanations of his fear of flying and going quickly to self-deprecating humor, the bit moves into his dosing of pot cookies and what level of ridiculousness happens when attempting to travel through an airport while high. Quick witted Rannazzisi makes sure to draw in all members of the audience with a quick pop culture blast about how when high on the way to the airport, he thought that Katy Perry’s song “Firework” was the greatest song ever. Flowing seamlessly from being high to traveling with kids (because those things are 100% intertwined, right?), he expresses what all parents know, going anywhere with your kids is a lot like moving. A short vacation might as well be the great move west experienced by gold settlers in the United States.
Continuing on through the next few minutes, Rannazzisi crafts a style of talking about his family that walks a fine line somewhere between monstrosity and love, waffling back and forth between “oh my god what the fuck is wrong with you” moments and expressions of care. The middle part of this set is very parent heavy, but still from an angle that anyone without kids could still understand and appreciate. He wraps up the section about kids with a story about his dad sawing his bedroom door in half, and then a subsequent masturbation joke.
The next chunk sees Steve going after his wife, covering topics like wedding invitations, being forced to turn back to get a dress, living together, and obnoxious expectations placed upon a man, all the while discussing why he really outkicked his coverage at the same time. The “Dollop of Mustard” bit about his trip to his sister’s graduation and the fight with his then girlfriend now wife is uproariously funny.
This special shows that Rannazzisi has a refined palette in the stand up industry. He may call the special Manchild but this is some grown man talent.