It is not everyday that you see a Sex Robot on stage. In hindsight though, we should have seen that cumming (I just had to 😉 ). In her fourth taping for Netflix, Whitney Cummings touches upon all topics considered tendentious these days and uses her acuity and sharp comic timing to deliver a taut hour long show, titled ‘Can I touch it?’. Modern feminism, aftermath of the Me Too movement, relationships and technology and finally sex robots taking up women’s roles, Whitney’s show covers topics which can often alienate audiences if they are preachy and censorious. Thankfully, the seasoned comedienne combines sharp wit with a lighter and more forgiving take on the subjects at hand and manages to evoke a good dosage of laughter throughout the set.
Whitney mixes her observational comedy with a certain level of animated delivery which gets the audience invested. Some of the jokes hit hard, because they are both sensitive as well as a commentary on the prevalent societal discourse. She steers clear of being offensive and instead plays the crowd with anecdotes. The way she equates women who cannot keep themselves from petting a cute service dog to predatory men who cannot help themselves from being physical is comedy gold. The nonchalant way of finding humour in every day misgivings is what makes her observational comedy set stand out. Whitney even takes responsibility for not standing up for herself during her short corporate stint and making sexual harassment in offices a commonplace occurrence which does not entail punitive action.
The best stand up comedies are always those, which are written around events which directly or indirectly involve the performer. And Whitney is a repertoire of such stories, albeit with a whole lot of self deprecating jokes written seamlessly into the set. Which brings me to the most shocking and also the most memorable part of her show, the sex robot. Robots and automation are already eating up a lot of jobs in the market these days. Corporates these days prefer to have a well-oiled machine slugging it out, than having a holiday demanding, work-life balancing human. It is only time that the basic human need of companionship will also see mechanization. Whitney imagines a future where even the roles of a wife will be ‘outsourced’ to robots who will cater to all the fantasies and whims of a man without having perspectives and opinions of a real life companion. What really gets the audience laughing hard is that the sex robot on stage was designed to look exactly like Whitney. I am sure, the image of Whitney’s machine avatar interacting with the audience will stay with us for years, unless of course she decides to get even more innovative.
The hour-long show gets the right amount of laughs and gives us context to a whole lot of occurrences around us which we ignore as routine. You can catch the show on Netflix.