You may not know Dusty Slay yet, but after his new Netflix special, this Southern comedian is aiming to become your newest buddy in the comedy scene. Slay has actually been making folks crack up on the stand-up circuit for over 15 years already, but Dusty Slay: Workin’ Man marks his first full hour-long special on the big streaming platform.
With his signature trucker hat and glasses, Slay instantly stands out with a look that’s somehow both dated and timeless. Behind those specs lie the squinty eyes and expressive face of a natural storyteller. After quitting comedy for a spell early on, the Alabama boy got back on the horse in 2008 and has been gigging steadily since.
He’s popped up on late night talk shows, podcasts by fellow comedians, and even had a shorter Netflix set on The Standups back in 2021. But now Slay finally has his own spotlight to win over fresh hearts and fill living rooms with knee-slaps aplenty. Recorded down home in Knoxville, Dusty Slay: Workin’ Man gives this rising talent the chance to showcase his particular brand of humor. So let’s dive in and see if we have ourselves a good ol’ time!
So, Did We Have a Good Time?
If Dusty Slay himself popped the question, you’d be inclined to politely say yes purely based on those adorable puppy dog eyes behind his glasses. But if we’re being 100% real here, Workin’ Man unfortunately doesn’t quite live up to his repeated catchphrase.
While Slay’s comedy is often amusing and his persona remains winsome, the special fails to sustain consistent laughs or energy over the full hour. Certain moments shine bright, landing killer jokes about his unconventional childhood or chronic inability to properly wash his hands. But surrounding filler drags things down.
Compared to his tight 30-minute Netflix debut on The Standups, this first special lacks the same laughs-per-minute ratio. It’s unclear if that stems from the inflated runtime or material still needing refinement. But Slay visibly strains to warrant the extra stage time.
When momentum lulls, he relies on his signature “we’re having a good time” to spur audience interaction. But its initially endearing charm wears thin from overuse. And while his self-deprecating wit and redneck anecdotes often hit home, they also box Slay into a niche Southern appeal.
Ultimately, Workin’ Man spotlights enormous potential, especially when Slay fires on all storytelling cylinders. Yet despite genuine highlights, the overall set fails to sustain excellence worthy of a full hour. It merely teases the greatness Slay may achieve pending tighter editing and more universally relatable material.
So his debut special misses the mark — but not by much. Give Dusty another 30 minutes to play with, and this emerging voice could become one of comedy’s greats.
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Dusty Slay’s Distinctive Presence
One glance at Dusty Slay immediately pegs him as a singular presence in today’s stand-up landscape. Between the trucker hat and tinted glasses, he cuts an image somehow both modern yet snatched from a bygone era. While not classically handsome, Slay oozes affable charm behind those black frames.
When he first ambles onstage, you’ll instantly note his nervous tics – fidgeting with the mic, messing with his hat, touching his nose. As he jokes, these hands flutter constantly like two songbirds. It bonds Slay to the audience as an endearing mess who can’t help but telegraph his anxieties. Yet simultaneously, an easy confidence pours through the twitchiness.
That infectious spirit peaks through Slay’s recurrent catchphrase “we’re having a good time.” Like a compelling refrain, he brandishes this mantra no less than seven times over the hour, often waving hello to re-engage wandering attention. It’s a verbal tic masking any lulls, prodding laughs from the crowd to validate itself.
Some initially roll their eyes at such a crutch. But repeated enough, the phrase becomes an essential signature – a pact between room and comic swearing to enjoy themselves. And darn it if you won’t let out a little cheer every time Slay half-asks “we’re having fun, right?”
Between joking about his penchant for shirt-untucking or pretending to wash his hands, Slay embodies that rare Everyman quality able to poke fun at his foibles while remaining downright huggable. You want to tussle that two-tone hair and reassure him things are indeed copacetic between you two.
Dusty Slay ultimately fosters a lived-in persona that’s both familiar and fresh. He’s the buddy you grew up with now trying his darnedest to make it big on the comedy scene. And doggone it if you won’t root for this scrappy Southern boy to keep on truckin’ til he finds fame.
Weaving Those Homespun Yarns
As a Southern boy born and raised, Dusty Slay sticks to the familiar in his stand-up, drawing from a homespun well of family, childhood nostalgia, regional eccentricities and self-deprecation. Like your uncle spinning yarns around the Thanksgiving table, Slay regales with meandering tales covering everything from trash fires on his grandad’s farm to getting diplomatically lectured for dipping tobacco by the Indian cashier selling it to him.
While avoiding socio-political commentary, Slay displays admirable range reflecting on failed TED Talks, the exponential strength of modern weed strains andjudgmental baristas. Yet he smartly grounds these digressions in his good ol’ boy wheelhouse. Ultimately that accessibility keeps his material feeling fresh rather than antiquated.
And make no mistake – while Slay’s presence exudes just some Southern dude ramblin’, his writing reveals meticulous construction underneath the down-home diction. Stories interweave fluidly with nary a word out of place, peppered with delightful callbacks to earlier bits. Despite its conversational flow, Slay’s set clearly reflects extensive editing and polish.
That craftsmanship shines most in his talent for physical comedy. Slay act outs his jokes with nimble pantomime, squeezing laughs from impressions of prissy coffee pouring technique or a drug dealer discreetly doling out palmfuls of weed. Each bit benefits from his animated performance bringing words vividly to life.
Between wry observations about lingering smoking nostalgia and grandparents whose sole valuable heirlooms are hand-crocheted blankets, Slay remains insightful yet inoffensive. While he risks occasional regional exclusion with deep Southern allusions, that parochial perspective conversely fosters universal relatability. Much like Jeff Foxworthy’s redneck shtick, Slay mines comedy gold from localized eccentricity.
By blending sharp writing with his animated Appalachian flair, Dusty Slay’s material suggests a rising voice able to translate regional experiences into crossover success. While avoided current events ensure timelessness, a keener eye towards shared human foibles could sharpen Slay’s future social commentary. For now though, just sit back and let Dusty spin ya some darn funny yarns, ya hear?
Standout Laughs from Dusty’s Repertoire
While Dusty Slay’s first Netflix special doesn’t fully warrant its inflated 60-minute runtime, scintillating moments certainly shine through. And Slay’s innate charm and animated delivery manage to sell even weaker one-liners along the way. Still, a few stellar standouts cement themselves as uniquely Slay.
Take the surprising comic juxtaposition derived from nearly swiping his granny’s pain pills to support his drug habit. The mental image of her only prized heirlooms being hand-crocheted blankets oddly underscores the surprising morality of this would-be thief. You can’t help but chuckle at the ridiculousness while admitting you likely would have snatched those pills too out of addict obligation.
An earlier bit about bombing hard at an attempted TED Talk also slays hard (pun intended). Dusty recounting how his profound message derailed into rambling nonsense resonates as horrifyingly relatable. We all fear public speaking crashes and burning under that spotlight. Hearing Slay recover from the trauma with humility and humor offers communal catharsis.
Smaller moments also leave lasting smiles, like Slay’s observation about baristas judging preference for black coffee. Apparently the ruder the server, the better its taste, as quality crema depends upon curmudgeonly craft. Only mass-market mediocrity merits courtesy. It’s a biting insight many coffee connoisseurs likely resonate with.
Even quick visual gags like miming a dealer’s discreet doling technique to disguise illegally potent strains amuse through their acted out absurdity. And who else would dare joke about almost letting pet frogs get sucked into pool vacuum tubes like some forgotten redneck E.T.? That’s a comedy chestnut only Dusty Slay could harvest.
While the special drags occasionally, these standouts cement Dusty’s singular worldview. His Southern charm manages to make the mundane hilarious and vice versa, gifting communal laughter even from tragedy like his father’s explosive junkyard ditch. Can’t wait to hear this good ol’ boy’s future tales told over cider by the corn silo.
Where Dusty Comes Up Short
While Dusty Slay’s magnetic charm and animated energy carry Workin’ Man’s high points, his debut does unfortunately suffer from intermittent lulls and overdependence on regional humor. As consistently funny as those peaks prove, the valleys drag things down.
Take Slay’s opening monologue – he spends more time gushing thanks to Netflix than landing any knockout jokes to ignite the engine from the word “go.” A comic owes his audience by honing in on a clear premise or persona to justify their time early on. Slay fails to deliver here upfront when impressions matter most.
There’s also an overreliance through the hour on Slay’s Southern background as comedic crutch. Not everyone can relate to small town Alabama escapades or lingo, limiting accessibility for outsiders. While Jeff Foxworthy succeeded on redneck exclusiveness, Slay lacks the same specificity to make regionality feel universal.
And when his southern-fried reminiscing loses steam, uncomfortable gaps emerge punctuated only by silence or his recurring “we’re having fun, right?” catchphrase. It’s a glaring indication that Slay struggles sustaining his still developing material over such a lengthy runtime. Tighter editing likely would have strengthened the entire special’s pacing and impact.
Ultimately, Dusty Slay shows glimmers of potential stardom in Workin’ Man – but don’t we all occasionally, right? Even great comics bomb, and stellar sets have lulls. What matters is that Slay clearly has talent worth nurturing. Once he ditches creative crutches and finds the confidence to trust his own organic humor, he’ll undoubtedly soar as high as the best of ‘em.
Dusty Slay: Workin’ Man Review – Final Takeaways on Slay’s Special
So we’ve covered highs, lows and in-betweens across Dusty Slay’s first swing for the hour-long comedy fences. The final takeaway likely aligns with expectations – Workin’ Man entertains without fully excelling.
Devoted fans will undoubtedly delight seeing Slay’s emerging talents spotlighted, no matter a few intermittent drags. Based on audience reactions throughout, that core demographic skews Southern or rural with appreciation for redneck nostalgia. Yet Slay’s innate charisma and animated delivery could potentially crossover beyond regional lines pending tighter writing.
Among rising generation stand-ups vying for household name fame, Slay shows glimpses of untapped potential on par with John Mulaney or Ali Wong early in their respective careers. In the right hands, his self-deprecating charm and expert pantomime could make Dusty Slay shorthand for comedy greatness.
Workin’ Man ultimately serves more as Slay’s minor league call-up rather than hall of fame coronation. But with tightened editing and expanded relatability beyond the mason-Dixon line or below it, this good ol’ boy bears serious breakout promise. Here’s hoping next go-round on Netflix lets him join comedy’s big show roster for keeps rather than short stint cup o’ coffee.
In the end, unless already converted to the church of Slay, this initial hour warrants a tentative stream rather than must-see distinction. But do pencil his name onto short lists for ones to watch – with experience and the right grooming, Dusty could blossom into a modern legend with talents ranking among the comedy elite. For now though, he remains a diamond in the rough.
Dusty Slay: Workin' Man
Dusty Slay showcases undeniable talent and charm in Workin’ Man, his first swing at a Netflix comedy special. But despite genuine laughs and captivating presence, the set ultimately drags too often to warrant a full hour. Tighter editing could strengthen impact and widening his characterization beyond regional tropes might heighten accessibility. Devoted fans will delight, but newcomers may leave less converted than intended. All the raw goods are there for Slay to someday become a household name – he just needs more refinement first.
- Affable Southern charm and storytelling flair
- Distinctive personal style/stage presence
- Animated physical comedy and pantomime
- Flashes of tight, clever writing
- Relatable family stories and nostalgia
- Inconsistent pacing, dragging energy
- Overreliance on regional humor limits accessibility
- Stretches thin material to fill a full hour
- Opening and transitions lack punch
- Catchphrase wears thin from overuse