If you haven’t been watching Adam Sandler movies for the past decade, there is a good chance you haven’t seen much of David Spade, and you probably still remember the youthful-looking snark-ist mainly from Saturday Night Live and movies like Tommy Boy. His last stand-up special came out a decade ago, and now Spade is back with My Fake Problems, which premiered Sunday night on Comedy Central.
Spade certainly looks older, but he’s still trafficking in the same kind of sarcastic, dry comedy, albeit with more focus on himself. There is no real through line to My Fake Problems, not even Spade’s problems, fake or otherwise. He goes through some bits and stories and various chunks he’s been working on over the years. There is a bit of pop culture talk, but it isn’t exactly riveting, groundbreaking stuff. Is now the time for jokes about the Tigers Woods cheating scandal? Sure, Spade hasn’t done a special in 10 years, but his take on the subject doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. To his credit, he only mentioned Sandler and Chris Farley once apiece.
His non-pop culture stuff is not any better, and, frankly, a lot of it is even worse. Spade spends a lot of time talking about women and sex and self-consciousness about his body, but this stuff is clunky at best, and sexist at worst. It gets downright unpleasant at times, which is kind of counterproductive during a stand-up special.
That’s not to say My Fake Problems is all bad. He does have a few good bits, but unfortunately they mostly come later in the show. First you have to slog through a lot of the stuff that isn’t exactly a laugh riot, but in the end this little bit of gold is not worth sifting through all the dirt.