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Kevin James's latest comedy special falls flat

Photos Courtesy Of Prime Video

Funny man Kevin James brings his latest stand-up special to Prime Video in Kevin James: Irregardless. Derived from the title of James's latest tour, this family-friendly special depicts his views on parenting, matrimony, and the progression into mature age. True to his unique style, James explores a broad spectrum of themes, from stimulating children to detach themselves temporarily from video games to expressing his skepticism regarding technology. He also humorously showcases how many Tater Tots he can simultaneously accommodate in his mouth.

While The King Of Queens hit the airwaves in 1998, I didn't start watching the show until my Air Force days around the sixth season. James won me over with his deadpan delivery and wit, which he carried to the hit film Hitch. Where James surprised me, though, was his antagonistic turn in the 2020 action thriller Becky. I was so impressed that I hoped that was the route he would take for the second phase of his career.

Having never seen one of James's stand-ups, I hit play with an open mind. Regretfully, though, the special didn't work for me. James takes the stage as a manic ball of energy, and while he did immediately connect with the live audience, watching at home, the delivery was off for me.

In other realms, James has a talent for extracting laughs from the most uninteresting scenarios - an ability that makes even the dullest stories seem uproariously funny. In this special, too, I must commend him for the smartphone app joke; unfortunately, every other humor aspect appeared to hit a flat note. 

On a hopeful note, though, if you're among those who find amusement in bodily humor and slapstick antics, you may enjoy some aspects of the special. James does try to augment his comedy through dramatized body language and exaggerated gestures. Yet being raised on classic comedic geniuses like Jerry Lewis or Jim Carrey leaves me unsatisfied - any extra layers supposed to induce laughter were sorely missing.

As seen in the stand-up special Bill Cosby: Himself, you don't need to rely on profanity or offensive humor to be funny. So, in that regard, Kudos to James for making a stand-up special for the entire family. However, his latest special fails to turn the former King of Queens into a jester whose stand-up routine I would revisit.

Final Grade: C-

Kevin James: Irregardless arrives on Prime Video today.

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