Ryan Long wants us to know the pain he experiences daily as an immigrant.
It’s one of many bits shared in the Canadian comic’s new stand-up release, “White Immigrant.” The YouTube-based special, where many of Long’s comedy clips go viral, showcases Long’s willingness to do what comedians have done since Lenny Bruce shattered the legal ceiling for them.
- Tell jokes
- Dabble in cultural stereotypes
- Share his skills in misdirection
It helps that the packed club where he taped the special has a collectively thicker skin than most comedy crowds.
You need that whenever he’s on stage. Few comics dismiss “Safe Space” protocols quite like Long.
Anyone expecting broadsides against President Donald Trump, Dr. Anthony Fauci or even the woke brigade, Long’s preferred video target, will be disappointed. This is Stand Up 101, and Long prowls the stage like someone with decades of experience doing just that.
For the uninitiated, Long is a fiercely apolitical comic whose videos skewer the media and Cancel Culture. That might make him a conservative, on paper, but he shirks such labels.
His stand-up follows a similar path, witness an early joke about his new home.
“Half the country hates America, the other half loves it too much,” he says with a grin. That’s “South Park” style balance, and it comes to Long organically.
His “Boyscast” show is a rare haven for masculine comedy, and “White Immigrant” leans into that approach. It’s not a free-for-all like Howard Stern 1.0, but he’s willing to acknowledge men and women are different, and that chasm is ripe for ridicule.
He also knows what’s acceptable in the new woke climate and what cannot be spoken. But he’ll say it anyway.
“I have a group, Whites Against Whites,” he says, suddenly growing solemn. “There’s no blacks allowed, obviously.”
That misdirection powers much of the material, reminding us how saying the “wrong” thing is often, well, funny.
Some gags go on a tad too long, and his scatological quips aren’t as funny as he assumes. Still, he’s dissecting sex in ways we often don’t see, especially when he describes making love to a Canadian hockey fan.
Long moved to New York City from Canada a few years ago, and that outsider’s perspective juices much of the stand-up special. He’s clear-eyed and anti-tribal, buoyed by a passion for unfettered speech. At times, “White Immigrant” feels like a time travel trip to the ’90s, an era when comedians could make almost any observation without fear of reprisal.
The term “Cancel Culture” was still more than 20 years away.
Anyone can be canceled today, but his fiercely independent spirit means he could be the last comic standing should the woke mob keep collecting scalps.
Long exists outside the Hollywood ecosystem. His fame consists of YouTube viral videos, a savvy podcast and stand-up gigs. No “Late Show” appearances for Long, sadly. Stephen Colbert wouldn’t know what to do with him, to be honest.
“White Immigrant” has a few, brief dry spells, but there’s always a sharp observation lurking ahead. If that means mocking stereotypes about male egos or crying women, so be it.
That alone makes the special matter, and it’s why Long can thrive without a whiff of support from Hollywood, the media or the usual comedy gatekeepers.