HBO MAX gives stand-up comedian Beth Stelling the comedy special she deserves with ‘Girl Daddy’
Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco presents Beth Stelling in the comedian’s long awaited first hour-long stand-up special. Stelling comes from the Chicago comedy scene and has two half-hour specials under her belt; one on Comedy Central (2015) and one on Netflix (2017).
The performer has been grouped together with the likes of Michelle Wolf and Nikki Glasser, but her style can certainly stand on its own. Stelling delivers biting criticism of the patriarchy in a bro-ish manner that makes her points all the more poignant.
Girl Daddy touches on a full spectrum of topics—from skincare to female pleasure, to a few abortion jokes that could ruin the leftovers in your fridge for you. Stelling scares away from nothing, and waves her dirty laundry frequently and unapologetically onstage.
One potential reason for the star’s unabashed charm is her lack of embarrassment in the hilarity of her own private, often strikingly intimate, thoughts. Stelling harbors no apparent shame in the admission that she often believes her massage therapist is falling in love with her, utilizing the overshare to somehow humanize a crass happy-ending joke.
The unapologetic hour of (what must have been highly produced but feels entirely unfiltered) comedy is invigorating and refreshing, especially in a comedy landscape so masculine that Stelling named the special for her running joke: She’s been called a “female comedian” so frequently as a mother she’ll have to respond to “Girl Daddy.”