Tim Robinson and the Golden Age of Cringe Comedy

This obsession makes “I Think You Should Leave” the perfect comedy for a heated cultural moment. The United States of the 21st century is notoriously a toddler classroom of public debate. Our only true national pastime has become litigation over large-scale rules, benign, neutral, or very malicious. The concept of “norm”, which was previously confined to psychology textbooks, is now being taken up on the front page. Donald Trump’s entire political existence looks like some kind of performance art stunt about breaking the rules. Panic over ‘Culture Cancellation’ and ‘Woke Mob’ is a symptom of a divided society that questions whether social rules are meaningfully shared even in fluid times. Every time we go out in public squares, we risk red-faced, tearful screams and yells.

“I Think You Should Leave” is a relentless comedy of moments when social rules break down. If things stick together, they will scrape and break.

Most of the time sketching starts quietly. The show lovingly and accurately recreates our small talk and polite jokes—the way groups use humor to defuse social tensions. A woman holding her friend’s newborn baby says teasingly to her partner: “Maybe we can have another baby,” she said. With a nervous smile, he replied: “Oh, we’ll talk about that later.” The men at her game of poker joke about his wife. (“Believe me, my wife has nothing to complain about. Unless you’re talking about everything I’ve ever done!”)

It seems that many of the ITYSL sketches started out as small thought experiments. What if someone took this throwaway joke literally seriously? How would social reality be distorted if all were ignored?

this is the premise One of the best sketches of the show, a sketch I remembered so deeply that I can’t even look at it anymore. A man who attends a party is allowed to hold a baby, which cries as soon as he holds it in his arms. “It’s no big deal,” he says lightheartedly. “I think he just doesn’t like me.” But Robinson took this completely seriously and invented someone who would go all out and explain to everyone why babies hate him.was once part of [expletive]Gradually, the man takes over the entire party, obsessively explaining the various ways he was once accused, including “back-slicked hair, white bathing suit, sloppy steak, and white couch.” And he insists over and over again that people can change. The reasoning is absurd, yet his claims are so convincing, tenacious, and literal that they become a kind of social contagion. By the time the party was over, everyone had come to his side – including the baby, who was smiling at him.

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