Ted Alexandro has a long history of activism offstage, not only on behalf of the downtrodden, but also for his fellow comedians. So if you’re looking for someone to tell you the truth about this concrete jungle where dreams are made of, Ted’s your guy.
“Living in New York is like one extended game of How Well Are You Hiding Your Poverty,” Alexandro says in opening his new hour, released by All Things Comedy. “And Depression.”
The key to living your best life in the big city, then, is a matter of perception.
Because the reality finds comedians living with roommates into their 30s and 40s, and too many others overworked and underpaid. No wonder people have just become accustomed to thinking any driver is their Lyft or Uber driver now.
Alexandro is always willing to call out his own white privilege for the sake of the joke and the bigger point both, and also his own great luck in reconnecting with a former flame 10 years later, to whom he’s now married. They have an age difference as well as a food-buying difference, and on the latter, he’s definitely compromised. As well as on any potential argument. “Women have it harder in this world. I think men walk around with a degree of privilege every single day that they’ll never fully comprehend. Or so I’m told.” He makes a solid case that being a true ally to women means responding as if you’re the first human voice they’ve heard while attempting forever to reach customer service.
The title of Alexandro’s special comes in response to the Trump era, an exhausted frustration that perhaps this is where it all ends.
This leads to a series of politically persuasive comedy premises about our class structure, sports ownership, advertising and the blurring of lines between reality and entertainment, that perhaps explains “maybe that’s how we got here.”
Where is here, though? A senior class represents not just a finality, of course, but also a new beginning. There’s what comes after graduation, too. And this hour isn’t quite Alexandro’s valedictory speech. Although he could have constructed it like one if he really wanted to lean in.