Heather McMahan: Son I Never Had Review – A funny and cathartic journey for McMahan

By Amanda Guarragi
Published: October 17, 2023 (Last updated: November 16, 2023)
Heather McMahan: Son I Never Had Review - A funny and cathartic journey for McMahan


A cathartic stand-up special with Heather McMahan exploring her trauma with her audience to create openness and vulnerability in a safe space.

Heather McMahan: Son I Never Had is an endearing and quite funny stand-up special that highlights all women’s issues through her unique perspective. This is one of the better comedy specials that have been released on Netflix this year.

There have been many stand-up comedians who have addressed female issues and have done so in their own way. Some are more vulgar than others. However, women’s issues like pregnancy and body image need to be addressed through humor. Women go through so many things that men will simply never go through. Whether it’s menstruation, birth control, or pregnancies, women have their bodies in constant cycles.

The key thing to stand-up specials is to be able to relate to the comedian on stage and McMahan does that within the opening minutes of her special. She has you connect with her through mental health and death with a few simple lines about her anxiety and the passing of her father.

Heather McMahan: Son I Never Had review and plot summary

Heather McMahan opens her show by speaking to her mother and expressing her anxiety going into her comedy special. She then gets on stage and she’s a bundle of joy jumping all over the place. McMahan speaks about body shaming and her body image throughout her life and in Hollywood. She is vulgar when talking about women’s issues but it is relatable to so many women in the audience. She says that body image in Hollywood is laughable because women have been trying to accept themselves for who they are for years. Hollywood and the media have been damaging because of the unrealistic expectations that they place on women.

McMahan addresses the weight loss of Adele, Rebel Wilson, and Khloe Kardashian because she felt seen in Hollywood media. She makes a joke about letting the heavier-set women know when you’re going through a weight loss, so no one is surprised.

McMahan goes into her childhood and how growing up heavier set affected her; she has suffered judgment her entire life. As a child, she would double as a son for her parents. She would have to carry heavy loads and adapt to the masculine energy because she was heavier. McMahan makes light of the situation and how she had the confidence over time to live in her divine feminine energy as she got older.

A very personal and fun journey with McMahan 

After watching Heather McMahan’s stand-up special, I grew to appreciate her stories and how she was treated differently as a child. It’s an experience only those who grew up as a heavier kid can understand. The comments made about being heavier came with a different set of expectations. There’s an anxiety that comes with social situations when you’re heavier and you can either make jokes about it or become an introvert and go quiet. Everyone has their own journey, and it’s hard to express yourself sometimes.

McMahan talks about her personal life and makes light of tough situations. She discusses mental health, fatphobia, pregnancy, and death. It takes a very special person to take their trauma and turn it into a cathartic conversation with their audience. McMahan made it a safe space for the audience to become vulnerable with her. It’s entirely from her perspective about how she dealt with her father’s death. She’s able to poke fun at daily life events and it’s very charming work from her. She has unconventional ways to deal with certain situations (like a funeral), which makes her endearing.

What did you think of Heather McMahan: Son I Never Had? Comment below.


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