Hannah Berner Shows Plenty Of Potential For The Future In ‘We Ride At Dawn’

By Daniel Hart
Published: July 9, 2024
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Hannah on stage delivering her 'We Ride At Dawn' Stand-Up Special (Credit - Netflix)
2.5

Summary

Hannah Berner shows the potential to be one of the best stand-ups in the game, but there are some teething issues in “We Ride At Dawn.”

Before I dive in, I’m putting it on record that I like Hannah Berner. Fun fact: I was introduced to the writer/director and now stand-up comedian on the Call Her Daddy podcast in 2021. I found her views on relationships quite refreshing, especially her experiences with her husband, Des Bishop, an age-gap relationship, which is predictably frowned upon in the modern age. The fact I remember her from 3 years ago is a sign she’s memorable, putting her in good stead after this Netflix special.

The thing is, Hannah Berner is talented at talking about dating, relationships, and sex. Her casual and often TMI views are her selling point. She’s the friend in the group who is proudly loud and says what everyone is really thinking. I genuinely do not believe she needs to act. Her talent is her personality, so it’s no surprise she’s still making strides after establishing two successful podcasts (Giggly Squad and Berner Phone).

There’s no natural angle in Hannah Berner: We Ride At Dawn. The comedian confidently moves through a series of topics to her trusted audience, which is clearly made up of loyal fans. From the time I listened to her on a popular podcast, until now, she has not changed, and that’s a good thing.

However, I did feel Hannah showed her hand far too early with a series of patterns. The butt of the joke usually ended in “men,” even when picking on audience members. Heck, even her “old” husband gets a lot of stick from her as she prophesised his death at least three times. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when she’s joking about how women should have guns over men due to shooting statistics, it’s a little flagrant that she’s playing to her fan base.

Hannah Berner on stage in her ‘We Ride At Dawn’ Stand-Up (Credit – Netflix)

Throw in a pro-abortion joke, how lesbians are better at sex than men, and admiring a man’s bald head because she wishes “she could make her pussy that shaven and shiny,” and the brand of We Ride At Dawn is well-established.

And I get it; I’m a man, so I’m not going to be able to understand and laugh at the woman’s perspective of queefing or what it’s like to ride a dick, so I’m trying to be as objective as possible. Hannah Berner is the difference maker in We Ride At Dawn. She’s not perfect at delivery, but she trusts that her engaging ego and personality will get the jokes over the line. If this was anyone else, it could have been crickets.

However, I will say that Berner’s strength is her vulnerability and honesty, and I wish she used that more in this stand-up. Ironically, early on, she admitted she did not know much about politics before going down a jokingly opinionated angle. The stand-up worked better when she discussed a scenario rather than an opinion; Hannah’s journey to the shop to get a Plan B pill was far more satisfying than a gun joke—describing her husband’s panic attack and that being an inconvenience was far funnier than discussing unrealistic sex scenes in movies.

I think I’m trying to say that Hannah should trust herself more. She doesn’t need to make highly topical jokes. Her life and her scenarios far outweigh angled comedy. One of the main reasons Taylor Tomlinson was elevated to the heights she has now claimed is that her scenario-building based on her real-life experiences compelled the audience. And Hannah has that in her. 

I’m not dismissing Hannah Berner: We Ride At Dawn. If this is the start of her stand-up trajectory, then this is a formidable base to build on. I genuinely believe she has more, and I look forward to seeing it. As a final point, her crowd work is extremely natural: don’t do a Matt Rife and drop it because you think you have to.

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