Willie Barcena is a 20-year veteran in the world of stand-up comedy, and he is back with a one-hour Showtime special and stand-up comedy DVD called I Gotta Be Honest.
This site’s primary reviewer published his review earlier this week and called this special “excellent” noting that there were only “two or so bad minutes” in the entire special. While I agree that the bulk of the material was solid, I could not help but be frequently frustrated with Barcena’s almost constant need to seek affirmation from the audience. Deliver a line. Pause. Right? You know what I mean? Next line. Right? F#ck. Two more lines. Right? F#ck it, right? Punchline. Know what I’m talking about, right? Next bit. Right? F#ck. Like, you know what I mean? This is not something you typically hear from a comic who’s been performing for 20 years, and it was so distracting that I found myself almost tuning out at times and just waiting for the next “right.”
Also more than a bit annoying was Barcena’s “dumb guy” voice which was sort of a cross between the “dumb guy” voices used by Bobby Collins and Carlos Mencia. I think the use of the “dumb guy” voice, in general, is a delivery device that should be put to rest.
The special also has a number of bits that have interesting premises, but Barcena barely scratches the surface before moving on to the next bit. I believe that if Barcena mined his material a bit deeper to extract more out of the bits and stopped seeking audience affirmation, the special could have been amazing.
Aside from these criticisms, I agree that this was an enjoyable special. Barcena discusses relationships, his wife, his sons, religion, and sex. Pretty standard stuff, but he manages to still find ways to make it fresh.
Other Willie Barcena Reviews
Willie Barcena Live - Deal With It!: First half of this stand-up comedy DVD is smart, the second the usual easy fare.
I Gotta Be Honest: Excellent hour long comedy special with 30 minutes on marriage and what goes on in the bedroom.