In the cab ride to the theater at the beginning of the video, the cabbie asks Donald Glover how his mom will react when she first sees his “rated R” show. Donald Glover responds, “I want her to see what I do… you know, you can’t leave in fear.” And it’s true, Donald Glover holds absolutely nothing back (I think) over the next hour, and lets us as the viewer into his mind, unedited and strange as it is. Almost like Kanye West’s last album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, where West plunges us deep into his bizarre/genius/perverted mind, Glover pulls a similar feat except not quite as twisted or dark, and quite a bit funnier on a standup comedy stage.
Donald Glover, the multi-talented writer/actor/rapper/comedian got his start out of NYU, writing for 30 Rock and occasionally making guest appearances. This led to a full-time character on NBC’s Community and if you’ve ever watched him on the show, I don’t have to tell you twice how hilarious his character Troy is, especially when paired with his partner in bro-mance crime, Abed (Danny Pudi). Also earning him his “slashie” award, Glover’s lyrical skills have led to the release of his first major-label LP, Camp, where he raps under the moniker of Childish Gambino (picked from a “Wu-Tang Clan Name Generator” online. His rhymes range from serious to flat-out wacky, as he raps about growing up broke and transitioning to a more suburban lifestyle, the alienation that followed, and his love of all things incredibly nerdy.
For those fans of Community, Glover warns right off the bat, “So I’ll let you guys know it’ll be nothing like that… it’ll be a lot grosser.” He’s not kidding either as the subject matter can be very disturbing and unedited at times, but not as often as most standup routines out there. With Glover, he’s probably just as funny without it, but we’re getting inside his mind 100% unfiltered.
That being said, wow, what an imagination. He is all over the place on the stage. From his ideas of how weird a Kanye West/Lady Gaga concert should be, comparing having children to having an STD, and wanting to get out of tough relationship talks by going to GameStop, Glover’s mind is disturbing and “gross” while also being fascinating and hilarious.
He starts the show addressing the rumors about how he became the frontrunner in the “making a black Spiderman” Internet campaign, and quickly flips it to talk about how cool it would be to see someone like Michael Cera playing Shaft. Many of his jokes are race themed, and he’s got a particularly interesting take on it most of the time, as a black man who grew up liking nerdy things like comic books, and sci-fi, which most people would classify as predominantly “white.” As a man who can see both sides, his observations tell a story that is not often heard from.
Some of the highlights include using foul language on auto-text on his iPhone, growing up without sugar cereal, and what a trip to Home Depot looks like with a bunch of creative kids. Glover reveals that he grew up with his family taking care of a lot of foster kids, and he says that’s where he got his desire to try to make people smile. He’s using his gifts for good (for the most part) and should have a long career in multiple fields.
In the bonus feature interview, we get a candid look at Glover and his true story of growing up and the experiences that helped shape him. He discusses at length growing up with foster brothers and sisters, moving out of his poor neighborhood, and what his parents think about his line of work. He’s a great storyteller with a lot of first-hand life experience and easily fills up the time in the thirty-five minute interview. The second featurette is a five-minute look at coming to New York, and a walk around his old neighborhood.