Marcella Arguello’s Debut Special Bitch, Grow Up! Is Characteristically Fearless

Comedy Reviews Marcella Arguello
Marcella Arguello’s Debut Special Bitch, Grow Up! Is Characteristically Fearless

The first thing most people notice about comedian Marcella Arguello is her height—six foot two—and so she kicks off her debut standalone special Bitch, Grow Up! addressing the obvious questions anyone as tall as her is usually bombarded with. This intro will sound vaguely familiar to fans of her 2019 album The Woke Bully, but the combined visual aspect (any bit about height will always land better when you actually see how tall someone is) and Arguello’s reworking of the joke keep things fresh.

This pattern holds over for the rest of Bitch, Grow Up!—fans who listened to her album may hear her dip into previous subjects (dating, people not realizing she’s Latinx) and worry that perhaps Arguello will repeat herself, but thankfully the LA comic is too inventive for that sort of carry on. Bitch, Grow Up! introduces new viewers to Arguello’s highly personal, uncensored comedy, while giving old stalwarts plenty to look forward to.

Bitch, Grow Up! clocks in at just about a half hour, and Arguello packs in plenty of personality as she flits from anecdote to anecdote. She possesses that particular ratio of bravado to vulnerability that endears a comedian to an audience. Sure, Arguello carries herself with confidence, but that doesn’t mean she’s invincible. This perspective gives each of her stories—whether about sleeping with broke guys or working as a bank teller—a satisfying sweet and sour punch. 

Arguello’s physical comedy is undoubtedly one of her greatest strengths in this special, and is yet another reason it’s worth album fans’ time. She makes the most of her tall frame, bringing high energy as she pretends to be a creepy guy at a club or a curious puppy. Even her voice seems more animated here than it was on The Woke Bully. Arguello eschews subtlety, and we’re the better for it. 

Throughout Bitch, Grow Up!, Arguello fosters a gentle antagonism with the audience, telling them to quiet down or calling out certain responses. Honestly, most comedians who rely on crowd work are rarely this engaged with an audience, and it’s enthralling, if a little tense at times. These moments don’t necessarily always maximize the humor in Arguello’s jokes, but they do keep you glued to the special.  

Bitch, Grow Up! consistently keeps you laughing until the end, which falls a little flat as Arguello reads a letter responding to her younger, more straight-edge self. It’s a bit that would have worked better halfway through a longer special, but simply doesn’t have the same oomph as the rest of her set. 

Whatever about the conclusion, though; Arguello’s an entertainer through and through, and never has it been clearer than on Bitch, Grow Up!

Bitch, Grow Up! is streaming on Max.

Clare Martin is a cemetery enthusiast and Paste’s assistant comedy editor. Go harass her on Twitter @theclaremartin.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin