On New Years Eve, I got a chance to watch Yearly Departed, a comedy special on Amazon Prime hosted by Phoebe Robinson featuring some incredible women in comedy: Sarah Silverman, Tiffany Haddish, Natasha Leggero, Rachel Brosnahan, Natasha Rothwell, Patti Harrison and Ziwe Fumudoh. The event took place at what appeared to be a funeral; everyone was dressed in black and wiping their faces with tissues while dismal organ music played in the background. And to make it all seem real, there were eulogies.
Robinson began the event by taking the podium to announce the passing of the year 2020. “Yearly departed we are gathered here today because 2020 was a trifling ho,” she said. After concluding her introduction, she then introduced the first speaker, Tiffany Haddish, to come and say a few words. Haddish gave a moving farewell speech to her beloved, casual sex. The comedian claimed that the pandemic forced her to give up the thing that she loved most and she instead got herself into a monogamous relationship.
Then, Natasha Rothwell took a spot at the podium and said a painful goodbye to TV Cops. As many of us know, the Black Lives Matter movement has been strong this year after yet several more black men and women were wrongfully murdered by the police. This has finally led to the end of the “good cop” propaganda we see on our tv in shows like Law and Order, Brooklyn 99, and The Rookie. Although it may be for the best, Rothwell said, she is deeply upset to see some of her favorite characters go and not be able to root for them anymore. And instead suggests that cops be replaced with mailmen to pay tribute to the U.S postal service instead.
Following Rothwell, came The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Rachel Brosnahan to say a not so tragic goodbye to pants. That’s right, and along with pants she says goodbye to bras, heels, makeup and many other unnecessary accessories for life in quarantine. Following Brosnahan, our next exciting goodbye came from Patti Harrison, who grieved for “Rich Girl Instagram Influencers” who lost out on some branding partnerships due to the pandemic.
Natasha Leggero was next up to say farewell to having more children. In her eulogy, the comedian reminisced on her experience being the teacher, mother and sanitation worker all in one for her young children during quarantine and how she will ensure that she will never go through it again by not having any more children.
We then got to see Ziwe Fumudoh say goodbye to beige band-aids. In her speech, she discussed the reaction to the BLM protests and how the biggest change that was made was to finally introduce darker shaded band-aids instead of just the beige ones. Ziwe refers to all of the things that happened after as “post beige band-aid era.”
On deck was Sarah Silverman to happily say goodbye to “Make America Great Again” now that Biden has won the presidency. Silverman, just like many of us, hopes to leave this awful slogan back in 2020. The show concluded with a special surprise performance by none other than Christina Agulera singing “I Will Remember You” as a long list of the things we said goodbye to in 2020 scrolls in the background.
Overall, Yearly Departed seemed like a bit of a last-minute effort, but then again didn’t everything in 2020 feel that way? I personally wished that it was a bit longer and more drawn out. There was just so much material to use and it felt a bit rushed. As someone who religiously scrolls Twitter and memes on Instagram, there were also a fair bit of jokes that I had definitely seen or heard before. However, there was some genuine fresh material as well. I thought that it was clear that Sarah Silverman, Patti Harrison and Natasha Rothwell stole the show. Plus, I greatly enjoyed Natasha Leggero’s fake tears and seeing them all react to each other’s eulogies. I felt the most disappointed in Rachel Brosnahan’s and Tiffany Haddish’s performances which seemed to be less creative. With all of that being said, Yearly Departed was exactly what we all needed to conclude the year and finally begin to put it all behind us. I commend the efforts of everyone involved in this special and recommend that you take an hour of your day to watch Yearly Departed.
‘Yearly Departed’ is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
By Blair Krassen @blairlyawake