If you’ve been on Twitter at all during the last two weeks, chances are you’ve seen at least a dozen people raving about Hannah Gadsby and her Netflix stand-up special, Nanette. While Netflix has been doubling down on its stand-up content, Gadsby’s debut for the platform is in a league of its own.
At its core, Nanette is the antithesis of its outcome. It’s the special that’s launched the Tasmanian comedian to global acclaim — but it’s also the special where Gadsby announces she’s through with comedy. The special, which was filmed at the Sydney Opera House and released on Netflix on June 19th, is really funny but also incredibly emotional: Gadsby opens up about what an “abusive relationship” comedy can be, cutting around painful memories and experiences to set up punch lines that will hopefully elicit a laugh from the audience.
If that’s comedy, Gadsby doesn’t mince words when she says she wants out.
It’s this honest, serious, often emotional approach to comedy that has been so transformative to viewers. She recently told Vanity Fair that her decision to quit comedy came after she watched the documentary Amy, and saw comedians reducing Amy Winehouse’s tragic life into a single punch line. It’s for the same reason she talks about Monica Lewinsky in Nanette.
While most American fans are hearing Gadsby’s name for the first time in 2018, the comedian has been working her way around the Australian and U.K. comedy circuit, also appearing on Australian television shows like Adam Hills Tonight and Please Like Me.
Prior to being acquired as a Netflix special, Gadsby toured Nanette all over Australia and the U.K. — winning best comedy awards at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Edinburgh Fringe Festival — before recently ending a four-month run in New York City.
Naturally, Twitter can’t stop recommending it to everyone:
W. Kamau Bell, who also released a stand-up special on Netflix, plugged Nanette:
Nanette was meant to be Gadsby’s farewell to comedy, and the comedian recently told Vanity Fair that the plan was to move home to Tasmania and work in her brother’s produce shop. She’s now reconsidering that move.
Whatever Gadsby’s plans are next, it’s safe to say the world will be patiently waiting.