Sam Morril’s raspy voice may seem calming, but he knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat. The New York comedian is adept at the bait-and-switch, employing it right from the start of his latest Netflix special, Same Time Tomorrow, which was filmed in Chicago in June 2022. Morril may expertly subvert expectations with his joke telling, but his predictable edgelord slant undermines his talent in this new set.
There are some bright spots, though. Morril creatively dissects language, draws us in with skilled storytelling, and looks at the world from a wry point of view. He even has some surprising moments, like when he jumps out of his usually serene delivery to give a frenetic impression of what he imagines it’s like to battle a porn addiction (one of the special’s funnier moments).
Like any edgy male comedian these days, Morril mentions trans people, but in his usual flip-the-script ways, his bits aren’t at the expense of this much discriminated-against minority, instead poking fun at the conversation around them. “It’s always my friend with the worst possible life that’s the most concerned about a millionaire celebrity,” Morril says after discussing a friend’s worries about comedian (and transphobe) Dave Chappelle—a pretty good point, to be fair.
Morril is funny and knows his craft, but throughout the special he caters to the type of crowd that thinks just saying something taboo or kind of gross means you’re a comic genius. Think Barstool Sports aficionados, Mark Normand lovers, South Park fans. And while a person is more than the company they keep, his fanbase influences what goes on in his comedy. For example, Morril uses crowd work liberally throughout the special—discussing cancer and making staircases and whatever else comes up—which creates a pretty obvious feedback loop. He knows what his crowd likes, so the special includes an ableist joke and one about jerking off with his friends as a kid, the sort of lowest hanging fruit that can sour viewers to him—myself included. I don’t think it’s asking much to eliminate ableist jokes in 2022.
Same Time Tomorrow is a mixed bag of a special, but however you end up feeling about Morril’s set at the end, he has honed a format that works for him (and, by extension, his fans). The only question remaining is, are you a part of his audience?
Same Time Tomorrow streams on Netflix starting September 1.
Clare Martin is a cemetery enthusiast and Paste’s assistant comedy editor. Go harass her on Twitter @theclaremartin.