This is kevin’s first stand up special in 17 years, since his first, and only, ‘sweat the small stuff’ in 2001. whilst not as energetic or memorable, ‘never don’t give up’ covers a wider variety of topics.
the title is a reference to one of the jokes. though it doesn’t serve as a crucial focal point. the best material post ‘sweat the small stuff’ is compiled into an hour. this format works well as nothing drags, and it keeps things at a fast pace. yet enough time was spent fleshing out each bit, so it doesn’t feel rushed. the trailer honestly doesn’t do it justice.
the purple backdrop is a nice touch. kevin isn’t camouflaged in black this time around. presentation is kept very simple; no need for cut scenes or intermissions as this isn’t a television broadcast, or home media.
the audience doesn’t seem to be as lively, and I even suspect that some of the laughter may be canned – due to it sometimes not matching their body language. of course there are plenty of laughs, but they were all even levelled across the board. none of the bits stood out above others in terms of their reactions.
kevin is still animated; his stories are peppered with facial expressions and mimes.
much of his act throughout the years has been based on frustration. however, this marks the first time that it has been directed towards certain groups of people. his age is starting to show, and that is reflected in the way he sees the world. he knows what he knows and isn’t interested in learning anything new. there’s an ‘intolerance’ that is worrisome, though not alarming…
clean humour has also been long associated with kevin’s brand. he was never one to use any ‘major’ profanities or lewdness. here is no exception, in fact, this seems cleaner than ‘sweat..’ in that respect. however, there are some ‘gross out’ jokes and references to adult life that are not ‘family friendly’ as advertised, or suitable for the squeamish.
this may not have been exactly the sequel I was waiting for, but it’s a nice addition nonetheless. stand up comedy is kevin’s foundation. it’s what he does best. in fact, it would be nice if he could focus on this medium exclusively, and develop a series of specials. just like his peers brian regan and jim gaffigan have.