Keith Robinson Pokes Fun At Himself and Gives a Health Update in “Different Strokes”

By Daniel Hart
Published: June 11, 2024
Keith Robinson in Different Strokes for Netflix review
Keith Robinson: Different Strokes (Credit - Netflix)


Comedian Keith Robinson shows his talent while providing an important health update.

Admittedly, I felt a little stupid when I started Keith Robinson: Different Strokes because I was not aware the comedian had suffered two strokes (the second one in 2020, which was induced by an ill-timed Viagra pill), so I had no idea of his condition when he came on the stage. But my feelings wore off after a while because I’m grateful I got to experience this set from a man who has had a series of health complications. 

I’m hesitant to say what I want to say because I don’t want to sound patronizing, but to be fair, Keith Robinson does center his set on his new disabilities and his life after a stroke, so I can only assume it is up for grabs. Here goes: This man is brave. No, not because he had two strokes and continued his career, but because stand-up is a challenging performance when your body is fully operating, never mind when one half is not working. Understanding the optics of delivering jokes with slurred speech and still not giving a shit is a sign of mental resilience.

“The second stroke was way worse than the first one” is not a phrase I ever thought I’d find funny. Keith demonstrates that comedy is the most precious art form that must be protected. When all is lost, one thing remains the ability to laugh at ourselves. Keith navigates his shortcomings, the perspectives of strokes, and the odd moments in his life since recovery. He delivers the punchlines impressively and seemingly with ease, and a brief appearance from his friend (and executive producer of the special) Amy Schumer to pick up his cane seemed planned so he could prop up further jokes. 

I did not want to raise the obvious because I didn’t want the glaring topic to cloud the talent. Keith Robinson is more than a funny man. He pushes the boundaries of comedy by overcoming his deficiencies, and his jokes are legitimately clever and well-thought-out. 

(L-R) Keith Robinson and Amy Schumer in “Different Strokes” (Credit – Netflix)

Keith’s recounting of his second stroke in 2020 is great writing: he describes how his ill-timed Viagra-induced stroke happened while on a plane. Apparently, he had to choose between getting some pussy, or saving his life at the hospital. He smoothly implements the frailties of men thinking with their dick with a severe medical condition. This is consistent throughout. Keith wants his audience to know that regardless of what life throws at you, your foolishness does not change.

This stand-up will not change lives, nor is it expected to. It’s a small, intimate setting with a vibrant, responsive crowd that sets up the recording perfectly. However, you will leave the special admiring Keith Robinson. And whether or not he intended that to happen (I suspect not) doesn’t really matter. You’ll laugh, be entertained, and know a lot about different strokes by the end of the show.

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