Published Jun 06, 2017During his short career, Sam Kinison occupied the rarified air of being a comedian who was both beloved by his peers and adored by his ever-growing legion of fans. And although his allegiance with the L.A. hair metal scene, appearances on Married... With Children and friendship with Rodney Dangerfield now deeply embed Kinison in the late '80s, Breaking the Rules shows just how clever, groundbreaking and shocking his material really was during the peak of his career.
A former preacher turned standup, Kinison's first HBO special shows the Houston comic screaming through a set that that comes off much less taboo, but at the same time, much more politically incorrect for 2017. But that's what places Sam into his own category, as splits his jokes into two categories: his problems with "demon women" and his vast knowledge of the bible.
Kinison even melds the two in his bit where, if Jesus was married, his wife would have never believed the story about going out with his buddies and not returning for three days. Recorded in 1987, just as his career was taking off, Kinson's material about cheating on his wife and his trysts with several women are surprisingly overly confident, self-effacing and completely misogynistic.
While there've been countless hack comedians since who've tarnished Kinison's style, it's fascinating to hear the audience's pure shock when he tells them how to perform successful cunnilingus by spelling out the alphabet with one's tongue, or when he speaks about the grossness of Christ's crucifixion. Though at the time Kinison wasn't as dirty as Andrew Dice Clay or Eddie Murphy, he was certainly the perfect foil to help break down the PC age of the late '80s. Plus, bonus points for burning out long before fading away.
Exclaim! is reviewing every standup comedy special currently available on Netflix Canada, including this one. You can find a complete list of reviews so far here.