Review: Nate Bargatze, ‘The Greatest Average American,’ on Netflix

More like the greatest affable American, am I right? That’s how great Nate Bargatze is, and the COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t slow him down from writing and performing a new Netflix hour. Even if it meant performing outside, where helicopters whirred overhead.

As I wrote in Decider:

As much as I bring my own perspective as a member of Generation X to any review, I also can thoroughly enjoy and respect the ideas offered by comedy kids these days. Even if they’re only a little bit younger.

Bargatze, born in 1979, jokes about how his cohorts are considered in-betweeners, classified as Xennials or the “Oregon Trail” generation, but he calls them “The Lucky Ones” because they still got to experience a youth without advanced technology while growing up in tune with changing tech. And several of his routines play with his placement between those two worlds. Whether he’s in an airport suddenly without his iPhone, or whether he’s in a hotel, dealing with all sorts of problems.

But he demonstrates his flexibility most acutely and expertly with something he hadn’t quite planned on at all during his taping: Multiple interruptions by helicopters passing overhead Los Angeles County. They could’ve easily edited one or all of them out. Bargatze is so affable, however, so adept that he makes the most of these moments, turning them into ad-libbed conversations with his outdoor audience that endear them even more to him.

“The next special’s going to be at LAX. It’s going to be a good time!”

I, for one, cannot wait.

Read my full review on Decider.

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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