One thing to know about 2022 is that there are horrors. Some of them are beyond our comprehension; a few are a bit too comprehensible. But all of them are man-made. That’s where Daniel Howell comes in.
The YouTuber-cum-comedian is well-versed in that subject matter. He is back on Tumblr, after all. The point is, he rolled into town on Monday, December 5, to pun-tificate (I’m so sorry) about the most topical of these horrors. His show is fittingly called We’re All Doomed!
This one-man variety hour offers an unsettling yet ultimately uplifting survey of current events and depression through the lens of his unflinching self-deprecation. Basically, it’s a live-action doomscroll. (Disney, take notes.)
Howell is nothing if not a creature of the web, and he finds inventive ways to adapt digital conceits to the live stage. There’s the YouTube bread-and-butter of one person performing a multi-character skit. Except the jump cuts are traded in for a pre-recorded voice.
It’s clear that the reconstituted emo emerged from the fires of millennial random humor to forge a wry and monochromatic path. He takes the piss out of the timeliest of existential crises with the kind of meta self-awareness where his joke formats become the joke itself. Howell specifically asked for no spoilers, so I’ll reduce his bits to a few keywords: hellfire, AI art, Peppa Pig.
One of the highest points in these proceedings? The interactivity snuck in between the scripted witticisms. This is a content creator who knows his audience … and they’re mainly alt sapphics. Establishing a jokingly abrasive rapport, Howell proved to be quick of mind and dank of meme. Without giving too much away, let’s just say the word “pissing” was a cornerstone of his crowd work.
We’re All Doomed! strikes a delicate tonal balance, imbuing snark with a heart. In the way that irony plus time equals sincerity, the innuendos found a way to coexist with genuinely touching moments. It’ll make you laugh. It’ll make you cry. It might even compel you to yell “Penis!”