The irreverent comic, who previously fronted both a weekly topical series and a stand-up hour for the streamer, will introduce her latest special, It’s Great to Be Here, on Sept. 12. In a break with tradition, the new entry will roll out in three half-hour installments, all available to stream on the same day.
“I’ve been noticing lately that a lot of comedians have been using their time on stage to talk about their struggles and how they identify, and I think that’s good for comedy,” Wolf winds up in a trailer for the special that was released earlier this week, before adding to big laughs: “So, I guess what I’d like to do tonight is I’d like come out as … insufferable.”
It’s Great to Be Here is being billed as Wolf’s most personal special yet, covering topics including dating, sexual harassment, race relations and living in another country. The half-hour episodes, which Wolf financed, produced, edited and has subsequently licensed to Netflix, are titled New Neighborhood, All Struggles Matter + Me Too and News to Me + All Beautiful.
Collectively, they mark her third special, coming on the heels of her 2019 Netflix hour Michelle Wolf: Joke Show and her 2017 HBO entry, Nice Lady. Wolf, who’s currently out on tour with new material, took a break to field THR’s questions via email.
Talk to me about the decision to self-finance, produce and then license the special.
I wanted to do something different than a traditional special and make something on my own terms. It’s hard to convince the industry to give you money to do something new. So, I made it on my own in hopes I’d be able to sell it. I shot eight episodes and we ended up with five of them combined into three. Sounds complicated. Don’t think about it. Just watch. I’m hoping people like this short, digestible format. If so, I have three episodes in the vault and more ready to tape. I’d like to develop more stand-up series. Hopefully I’ll get a chance. We’re seeing stand-ups making their own specials more and more. Funny people who might not be getting a chance are giving themselves a chance. And that’s good for them and comedy and you (the people who watch comedy).
I’m curious how you landed on the three-part format and what it allowed you to do that a traditional hour would not.
I think doing these “episodes” is a fun way to frame stand-up. An hour can be really great. But sometimes you have 15 minutes that feels like it stands by itself. And I think it should be able to live like that without trying to horseshoe it into a format that doesn’t serve the material for the sake of a format that is rather arbitrary to begin with. I can do an hour and I appreciate an hour. But why not try something new?
What did you want to say with this set?
A lot. I have a lot to talk about. And boy oh boy, I’m glad this one is coming out because I have a whole new set of things to talk about. Stand-up is cool — you get done with one and you can evolve to do something even better in the next one if you put in the work and let yourself. Jokes are highly undervalued. Anyone can ask the audience questions. But a good joke? Well, that’s a bit of magic.
How has the experience of living abroad impacted your comedic point of view?
There’s nothing better for developing your point of view by experiencing different people and cultures. You can stay in the same place, and you’ll see a lot of the same things. I want to expand what I know and what I see and who I talk to. I’m trying to be a citizen of the world.
Anything on the cutting room floor for this one that you miss?
I made sure all the stuff I love is in there. And that’s all you can do. I like it. I’m proud of it. And you can have your own opinion of it. But it’s not gonna change how I feel. I hope you like it, but if you don’t, you don’t. I’m very aware you can’t please everyone. Which is why I don’t try to. I’m just being me.