Review: Gary Owen, “#DoinWhatIDo” on Showtime

My gut instinct was to write a review based on his title: This is what he does.

But Gary Owen’s 2019 special, which premiered on Showtime in September, isn’t about what he does, as much about what other comedians have done, and how he not only hasn’t done those things, but also is faking it if you look at his social media as the truth. Hence, the hash-tagged title. Owen has made his career based on being the one white comedy friend to Black audiences. Take this clip, for example, which juxtaposes Roseanne with him.

Owen also defends Kevin Hart plenty in this hour (perhaps as much for business reasons as much as friendship ones), and explains how he tried to explain show business to Mo’Nique.

“Here’s the thing about the entertainment business, man. When you ain’t in movies like you think, or TV shows like you think, your brain starts playing tricks on you. You start thinking there’s a conspiracy against me. People don’t like me anymore. That’s really not the case. Because you never know when your name’s coming up behind closed doors for a movie or a TV show.”

As I wrote in Decider:

After he tried to point that out to Mo’Nique via Instagram, however, Owen found himself dealing with backlash online for days. On the bright side, that’s where he found he loved being insulted as “white cracker bread.”

When he’s not convincing you to call him that now on the regular, Owen is jokingly advising us on how we all can live our best lives on social media. By faking it. Why pay for bottle service at nightclubs or private jets, when you can simply pose for pics near them? When you see him use the hashtag #DoinWhatIDo? “That is code for me lying.”

Owen doesn’t seem to mind one way or the other whether you believe him or roast him, so long as you keep showing up for him.

Read my full review in

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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2 thoughts on “Review: Gary Owen, “#DoinWhatIDo” on Showtime

  1. How disappointing…another unethical, uninspired reporter/reviewer who conducts no research into their topic. His slant makes Gary out to be a joke or a fool playing to African American audiences.

    There is something very ugly & judgmental about relegating GARY OWEN to “…one white comedy friend to Black audiences…”.

    IN REALITY, AFRICAN AMERICANS MADE Gary Owen – gave him his first TV & movie roles. He hosted Comic View on Black Entertainment Television (BET) in the late 90’s – a job he got while still in the Navy & he was in his early 20’s. Jaime Foxx recognized his serious talent & dragged him off to appear alongside him in the movie “Held Up”- during this same time period.

    Even before those two jobs, Gary won the funniest Black Comedian of San Diego Award. (I’m a Californian & I love our PAST ability to let people pick whatever colors they want to be, you can even change up weekly & no one cares/ed.)

    Just a few years ago, he returned to BET with the Gary Owens Show – a reality show about his family & their life in Cincinnati, Ohio. Gary REMAINS THE ONLY WHITE host of one of BET’s EPIC, ICONIC Black Comedian Showcases. GARY also REMAINS THE ONLY WHITE person to have a show on BET.

    Even the most noteworthy Quincy Jones – who I think is a much better arbiter than the author of this review on what is funny & how to be authentic to African American audiences – invested his time & money in Gary Owen.
    The Q helped create a TV Series featuring Gary. It didn’t get picked up but WOW!!!!!

    With all of this African American money & support behind him, your article not only demeaned Gary but also QUESTIONED THE INTELLIGENCE OF AFRICAN AMERICANS.

    Let Black Americans criticize Gary not you. Black American has supported Gary for almost 25-years & we love him.

    Gary must be doing something right. No one is going to spend money to buy tickets, to be tokenized & to go see and be marginalized by a comedian.

    Why don’t you explore why few Blacks go see Chris Rock or how white Dave Chappelle’s audiences are.

    Inn my culture (although I can’t explain it), Bill Clinton is still America’s first Black President & in a sense GARY OWENS is an adopted brother with unquestionable street cred. He has the insight & intelligence to find humor in any situation but especially those w/in Black culture, traditions, & its various societies.

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