Hello readers! I spoke to unique comedian Raanan Hershberg this week. He’s a killer on stage and his upcoming new special promises to capture the full extent of his talent. His name has been popping up in my feed lately, and we seem to be devouring what the algorithm is offering, aren’t we? Luckily, checking Raanan paid off. His growing reputation, his specials, his podcast with fellow comedian Joe List (Joe and Raanan speak movies) and his solid approach to comedy make him worth seeking out. As he joined the Sandman Comedy Club this week we caught up and chatted about his new special, the state of television and of course his movie of the year. Here’s our conversation:
gift: Recently recorded a comedy special?
Raanan: Yes, I recorded a special at the Comedy Cellar in April. I will probably put it on my YouTube channel in September.
gift: oh cool So how far back does this material go?
Raanan: It went back… well, I recorded another special two years ago. An album/special. This album was something like ten or eleven years in the making, you know. This one was just two years since that happened.
gift: OK. We’ll wait for it to come out. You said September?
Raanan: We’re making an appointment right now. But yes, at some point in time. It is [called] Jokes from the underground.
gift: Oh nice. I remember watching one of your late night spots on YouTube a few months ago. It was deadly. I think it was your Jimmy Fallon spot.
Raanan: Yeah, everything’s just hot…you know, most people just watch stuff on YouTube now. TV is basically only watched via YouTube.
gift: We all see it happen. Anyway, I know you called a podcast with Joe List Joe and Raanan speak movies. You have some strong opinions. I know it’s only July, but do you have a movie of the year yet?
Raanan: I feel obligated to take Joe with me [List]’s movie because he has a movie that came out. I mean, I think I’m a little biased, but Joe and Louis CK did a film called it Fourth of July. Which is actually doing pretty well at the box office. So I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this as one of the movies of the year. That’s in limited theaters too, so maybe it doesn’t have –
gift: I have followed Fourth of July. I have not seen it yet. There were actually a few shows in the Richmond area, Midlothian and Glen Allen. So here it is.
Raanan: Oh nice! Oh, there you go. So, yes. So that was one of the best movies of the year. I really love this movie X.
gift: X is great. I loved this movie. One of the best theater experiences I’ve had in a long time.
Raanan: yes it’s great It’s really all there. It’s fun, exciting and sexy and has some cool ideas. I love this. Really enjoyed watching it. There are a lot of movies now where everyone pretends to be great, but they’re like cheerless downer movies. As nomadic country or power of the dog. They are just emotionless and exhausting. But it’s nice to see something exciting and actually have fun, you know?
gift: Felt like fun. I remember when I went there I felt like a kid coming out of the cinema. We went out, we talked in the lobby of the theater about what our favorite roles were. You know?
gift: And the last movie I saw was The Batmanwhich I wasn’t so excited about coming out of the movie.
Raanan: Another downer. Just [a] boring movie.
gift: I walked out feeling, “Was that even good?”
Raanan: Batman, I thought, was a terrible one. Every Batman, everyone says, “This is really dark.” And it’s like, They’ve all been dark for the last ten years. The idea that darkness is something new every time, you know?
gift: I was about the second hour of it and couldn’t figure out if he had actually helped anyone in the film yet.
Raanan: I know it’s… it seems like self-indulgence. And it’s definitely the new generation. [It had] kinda cool ideas, it just never caught on. And there just weren’t any good characters. Pretty much every scene was just a static position at every moment or just explained something. It felt like a video game.
Gabe: It was really bloody long.
OK, we mostly talked about movies, but honestly I wish I could talk more about movies with him. I’ve been going to the theater a lot over the past few seasons, but at some point I made a point of not watching the big blockbusters. This point was either eternal or actually, probably The Batman. However, I checked it, and Fourth of July does not play in Richmond. But it might be until this article comes out.
Either way, Raanan Hershberg is one of the best of the best. If you’re interested in hearing more of his film reviews, I definitely recommend his podcast, Joe and Raanan speak movies. Go see Fourth of July if you find it and look at it X to. (My movie of the year. I won’t lie.)
As for Raanan Hershberg, you can catch him performing at the Sandman Comedy Club from Thursday 28th July to Saturday 30th July. Five shows and everyone is laughing. Be sure to get there an hour early for food and drinks. Tickets are available on the Sandman Comedy Club website.