Mike Epps: Indiana Mike is is the fresh standup comedy special of the eponymous Mike Epps, which was released on Netflix today. In this special, Mike Epps goes back to his native town of Indianapolis to take a trip down memory lane. At 58 minutes, the show is tightly knit, not leaving any space for the audience to wander. With jokes on topics ranging from COVID to drugs to growing up in a black neighbourhood, the special has it all and then some.
Mike Epps, although not a well-known name with audiences outside the US, has made quite a name in the comedy scene. With another Netflix special already under his belt, Epps has numerous stand up shows off Netflix, and numerous films and TV shows on his resume as well. These include Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Extinction, The Hangover, The Hangover Part 3 and The Upshaws respectively.
When it comes to creating a good leeway for the main part of the show, Epps does it beautifully with the topic of COVID. Talking about the COVID vaccine, Epps introduces new flavours like “pineapple Moderna”, “watermelon Pfizer” and mango, that would entice black people to take the shot.
Copying the mannerisms of his fellow people of Indiana, Epps starts the next part which would give his international audience an idea of how big he really is in the US, especially in Indiana. He begins to introduce the members of the audience, which ranges from the city Mayor to the Indianapolis basketball team, social activists and various other important figures of the city. In a way, Indiana Mike really is about how the city celebrates Mike Epps and his interactions with his fellow people.
In between the local jokes, he sprinkles the more common topics a lot of comedians use, like vegans, fat people, fast food, the LGBTQ community, sex etc. Especially the joke about his overweight cousin “getting forklifted” instead of being snatched, landed pretty well. He also comments on other black comedians, especially the more controversial ones like Bill Cosby and R Kelly.
Whatever be the topic, one thing is constant – his goofy mannerisms and stage presence, which keep the audience constantly cackling. Especially when he impersonates various local types of people, like the older boyfriend, drug dealers, criminals, basketball coaches- he really gets the laughs. Another big part of Indiana Mike is its black pride, black history, black life, black childhood; all these stories told in an upbeat, anecdotal way are really the charm of Indiana Mike.
Another high point of the show is that Epps, above all, finds himself very funny. One can see him enjoying his own jokes, even at times when some of them don’t land well. But the bad jokes are fewer than there are good ones, and mostly the audience is enjoying themselves. Sometimes Epps messes up the delivery, which makes it a bit awkward to watch, but he catches up quickly, making up for his issues.
Overall, Mike Epps: Indiana Mike
Mike Epps: Indiana Mike is a pretty nuanced standup special about Mike Epps, even though it caters to a very specific audience and deals with a lot of topics a universal audience would not understand or find funny. What does come across very clearly is this warmth and sense of community that Epps and his audience exude through the jokes that give the Netflix viewer a fun experience. Especially the end, where Epps dedicates the Netflix special to his parents. Later on, the Mayor of the city and Epps’ other friends come on the stage and it’s an emotional moment, for the city’s beloved prodigy has come back and everyone is here to welcome him and celebrate his success.
Mike Epps: Indiana Mike is streaming on Netflix.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.