One of the great glories of Andy Daly’s Review is watching his “real life critic” realize he’s in way over his head with some new, preposterous challenge, but refuse to stop smiling. In a new video, in which Daly speaks uninterrupted about whiskey for three-and-a-half hours, you can watch that fade occur in real time.
Produced for the single malt scotch Laphroaig, the video’s ostensible set-up is that Daly is filibustering about the whiskey’s flavor. What he’s actually doing is standing in an empty room, reading user-submitted jokes about the whiskey—jokes of varying quality, in between which Daly quickly starts riffing. With only occasional intermissions, the task begins to take a clear physical and mental toll on him. At first he remains upright and chipper, and with his blazer still on; he’s excited by the new concepts introduced. “I didn’t know we had more than one Duluth in this country,” he remarks. “Good for us!”
At around the halfway mark, he’s holding himself up on the lectern, musing, “Two hours in. Jesus, this is a long time. I will not yield the floor. I’m going to keep going as long as my strength holds out, as long as there’s breath in my lungs, as long as my tongue functions, and as long as I’m still interested in dragons, which I am.” (There are a lot of tweets about dragons.) Toward the end, he’s modulating his voice irregularly, apparently just to keep his brain sharp, glaring into the middle distance, and barely suppressing his disdain for the tweets, which keep commingling images of old-fashioned manliness, medicine, and campfires. The sun has gradually gone down behind him. Any fan of Review will recognize the tense mixture of despair and determination settling into his eyes, but anyone who’s seen Review will also know that Daly’s going to see this thing through to the bitter end. He does—and it is harrowing.
Daly reading tweets for more than 200 minutes now officially bests Nick Offerman sitting silently by a Yule log for 45 minutes. You can’t help but worry what some poor comedian is going to have to do for a whiskey company next.