“I think a lot of people are like, ‘Oh hey, Tobias is in town! I didn’t know he told jokes. What’s he gonna do? Just fuckin’ dress up in blue and fall down on stage?’” David Cross asks mockingly in his new Netflix special, Making America Great Again!, not long after cameras catch a woman heading for the exit. It’s a fair point. As Cross himself notes, by now he’s amassed “eight-plus hours of my stand-up to peruse, check out, maybe see if we’re on the same page,” which might prove helpful to neophytes in delineating between Cross’ onstage persona—acerbic, opinionated, delighting in needling conservatives and the deeply religious—and the lovable-loser characters he’s played on series like Arrested Development, or even the surrealist sketches of Mr. Show. Still, with that moment arriving after an especially graphic reverie about a pro-NRA congressman holding his dying, bullet-riddled daughter, and just before a joke whose punchline is “raping children,” even fans already well attuned to Cross’ comedic point of view seem to have bristled at his first stand-up tour in six years, to the point where, as Cross acknowledges, someone walked out during almost every single show.
Read Sean O'Neil's full interview at AVClub.com.