Like all of us, Hannah Gadsby is a different person today than they were five years ago, as evidenced by their new Netflix special Something Special, a cheeky title that hints at a newer and happier outlook on life. “I’m aware that this show is not necessarily what people expected from me, and I’m delighted by that,” they tell Consequence. “I like catching people off guard. That’s the only consistent thing about my comedy, is that you really don’t know what I will do. Because I’ll do whatever the hell I want.”
Gadsby of course broke out in the comedy scene with 2018’s Nanette, a deeply personal and raw show which created a whole new conversation around what it means to do stand-up comedy. Today, though, they find the whole question of “What is comedy?” to be “just a waste of time.”
“It’ll be whatever it needs to be,” they continue. “People always need to laugh, and people find different ways of doing that. We’re going through a real upheaval about how we communicate broadly. So I think comedy’s going to change and I think that’s healthy. We have to adapt to the different environments that we’re performing in. But I’m just a little guy, you know. I am just gonna do what I do and what happens around that will just be what it needs to be. It feels too big for me to understand.”
For them, the best way to be a part of “the conversation” is to just keep doing their own comedy, “and that’s exactly what I’m doing. I really am just doing my own thing.”
Something Special finds Gadsby back on Netflix (after speaking up publicly in response to the company’s platforming of Dave Chappelle), telling stories about their recent marriage proposal and wedding as part of a light and joyful hour about happiness. “I think people coming out of the pandemic were really confused,” they say. “I was confused. Nobody understood it. We still don’t understand it. So I really wanted to do a show that felt safe.”
Below, Gadsby explores the process of bringing Something Special from the tour to the screen, as well as where things stand with their next project, a stand-up special featuring six international genderqueer comedians to Netflix. They also reveal that while they might not be sure what happens after that, they definitely want to keep surprising us.