Here’s a good introduction to the idiosyncratic British comic James Acaster: Netflix will be releasing four specials by him next Tuesday. Repertoire consists of four distinct episodes: “Recognise,” “Represent,” “Reset” and “Recap.” That’s four hours appearing all at once, from a comedian who’s not particularly well-known outside of his own island country. When you see Acaster’s work you’ll realize why Netflix is going all in with the man: he’s one of those rare comics who’s somehow been able to create his own special style and sensibility at a time when there seems to be more working comedians than ever before.
This trailer, currently accessible exclusively here at Paste, gives a tiny but fruitful glimpse of the man’s work. His observations are relatable but not mundane, his physical work is manic but doesn’t overwhelm his words, and he has a knack for twisting a joke in unexpected directions. And the unique structure of his specials—all four hours basically complement each other, with the final one, “Recap,” using some of Acaster’s older work to reinforce the themes of the first three—elevates Repertoire beyond simple comedy special and turns it into something of an event. Dave Chappelle released four stand-up specials on Netflix in one year because he was out of the public eye for years and also because Dave Chappelle can basically do whatever he wants; James Acaster is releasing four stand-up specials on Netflix on one day because they’re all of a piece, feeding into and off one another, and displaying the full range of this smart young comedian’s talents.
Watch the trailer below, and check out Repertoire when it hits Netflix next Tuesday.