Review: “The Degenerates” on Netflix

As I wrote in my review for Decider:

The word “degenerates” implies immorality. Oakerson, Brad Williams, Yamaneika Saunders, Liza Treyger, Joey Diaz and Christina P. definitely live by morals. The Netflix focus group working committee on series naming must have struggled (or didn’t struggle enough) in this case. Calling them The Offensives might give audiences the wrong idea. At Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival, they’d call this group The Nasty Show. Somehow nasty sounds too nasty here. As does depraved. A more literal way to broadly define these comedians: Deviants.

Here’s how each of them fit the bill.

“People have triggers from shit you can never guess,” Big Jay Oakerson says about performing stand-up comedy now. “Words get people all round up now.” One word shouldn’t really surprise him, and yet: “Tranny you can’t say now. That bums me out.”

Brad Williams said the #MeToo movement is “fun for the non-creeps,” but he was disappointed when it turned out Louis CK was one of the creeps. Williams said perhaps men think public masturbation is a turn-on because of how great women look while doing it. Not so for men. “It’s never impressed the woman, it’s never made the situation better!”

“I wore my trashiest shit, ok?” Yamaneika Saunders said. “Haha, I’m such a dirty bitch. Fuck it, who cares?” But Saunders is just making up for lost time. “I grew up in a Christian household, so I didn’t have sex until I was 27 years old.” She also explains how one sex act in particular manages to do “one of the most unholy things…in a holy position.”

Liza Treyger manages to find a Holocaust sex joke in her Birthright trip. But on a serious note, Treyger also explains why women aren’t more vocal about faking orgasms and their sexual needs. Why? “You murdered us.”

If Oakerson is mad he cannot say “tranny,” then Diaz is even madder he can’t say “faggot,” saying that he’s an old man, and “you can’t change the rules halfway through.” He adds: “At this point, i don’t give a fuck anymore.” On the other hand, Diaz encourages everyone to suck a dick or grab a dick to make angry men feel better about life.

Christina P says about the shock of Bill Cosby’s private life: “You see, that’s what separates the good rapists from the truly great rapists.” But she also has plenty to say about Louis CK, too.

You’ll have to watch the special to find out.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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