MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Friday, February 3rd. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.
Good morning. I’m Myrna Brown.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: a comedy routine everyone can enjoy.
Stand-up comics have a reputation for being pretty raunchy. But Nate Bargatze has made a name for himself by going against the flow, offering clean comedy that speaks to the average American experience.
BROWN: Hello, World! is the title of Bargatze’s latest comedy special and it debuted on Prime Video this week. Here’s Collin Garbarino to tell us about it.
DAUGHTER: Please welcome my daddy, Nate Bargatze.
COLLIN GARBARINO: That’s Nate Bargatze’s 10-year-old daughter standing in the wings introducing her father for his latest comedy special Hello, World! Before stepping onto stage, Bargatze gives his wife and daughter hugs and kisses, setting a family-friendly tone for the next 60 minutes of jokes.
Nate Bargatze is one of America’s funniest comics, and he makes his fans laugh while keeping his set clean—no profanity or sexual references here.
NATE: Look, I say a lot of dumb stuff. I try to keep it in front of large groups. Seems to go better that way. When you say something dumb one-on-one it’s a lot for that person. I’ll say it, then I can just feel that they feel the weight of my life on their shoulders.
Much of the humor comes from Bargatze’s self-deprecating style. In the past, he’s mined his dubious education for laughs. And for this new special he returns to the theme.
NATE: We were supposed to go see the White House in 6th grade, and we couldn’t go because the Gulf War started. And by the way, I didn’t even know we were supposed to go. I only found out we weren’t going.
But our teacher came and said, “We can’t go. The Gulf War started, and they had to put a fence around the White House.” And that was it. Never talked about it a day after that. So I just assumed the Gulf War was on the streets of Washington.
For someone who pretends to be the dumbest person in the room, Bargatze is a brilliant storyteller. And beneath the jokes about his supposed ignorance, he possesses a folksy wisdom that resonates with many of us who didn’t grow up as part of the coastal elite.
NATE: Look, anything I say up here does not come from a building of education. This is all stuff I’ve overheard at Target or Lowe’s.
Bargatze is just a good old boy from Tennessee. But when he reflects on his childhood, he causes us to laugh at what seems like a universal experience.
NATE: I am the first born in my family. Is there a lot of first born here tonight?
It’s a lot of us. I like it. We have to stick together. We have it the hardest of all the children. We show up, our parents are not ready for us to be there.
They don’t have any money. You basically get there. You’re like, “I don’t think I should even be here yet.” But they want you to get a job and start helping out. The youngest show up and your parents are trillionaires.
In this special, Bargatze reflects on the humorous side of family. Most of the jokes involve childhood memories, the reality of growing older, and the perils of having children of your own. And though he plays it for laughs, he’s very upfront about his family’s Christianity.
NATE: My parents, uh, they also became Christian when I was born. And… everybody’s still Christian, but I got them when they were the most Christian.
I had 80s and 90s Christian parents. Well, that’s the most Christian you can ever get of the Christian.
Besides keeping his comedy clean, one of the most impressive things about Bargatze is his total lack of cynicism. Yes, he jokes about his parents and siblings and wife, but we can tell it’s always rooted in love and respect. Golfing with his wife doesn’t sound fun, but he makes it funny while still letting us know he loves her.
But most of the jokes deal with his own inadequacies, and he seems to find some contentment in those inadequacies.
NATE: My mom wanted a koi pond. She’s kind of finally, you know, at the age where she wants one. So for Mother’s Day, we were like, “We’re going to build it for you.” And so we got all the stuff, then got shovels, and we started digging the hole for it. And I don’t know if you’ve ever dug a hole before, but it’s maybe the hardest thing you ever do in your life. You see it on TV and movies, and it’s like, “I’ll just dig this hole real fast.” And then you do it in real life, and it’s like “I guess it’s all CGI because it’s impossible.”
There’s no profanity in Nate Bargatze: Hello, World! But there’s a throwaway joke about gay marriage and in another joke he uses rude words some parents might not want small kids to hear. Maybe watch it first with just the parents before sharing it with your children.
Those small caveats aside, I recommend the show which streams on Prime Video, and if you haven’t watched Bargatze’s other two specials, The Tennessee Kid and The Greatest Average American, you should go track them down on Netflix.
I’m Collin Garbarino.
WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.
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