Comedy Warehouse II
Shepherds Bush Empire
Sunday 29th September 2013
Comedy Warehouse host the second in their series of Jamaica v The World at Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
Host for the evening, Mr Cee, gently warmed up the audience with fresh stories relating to his recent vacation in America. He said it was his first visit and at 5-6 weeks long it certainly wasn’t a short one. Unlike the Mexicans he came across whom he found to be midget size in stature. Coming from the little man of comedy that’s quite a big statement!
What a corker! Mr Cee brought the house down, cracking up the audience with his hilarious and spontaneous observation about a party of late arrivals who happened to be ‘White’, accompanied by Black friends. The inferred influence of the Black friends on their White friends was clever and highly amusing.
Next on stage was Aurie Styla. He delivered an excellent set, mixing music and comedy to great effect as he acted out “scenes you see in a night club”, busting highly athletic moves to familiar dance songs played by the resident DJ. Highlights included him mimicking the deep voice of an old school garage music DJ. Very funny indeed.
Representing Jamaica v The World showcase he, along with Mr Cee of course, got Jamaica off to an excellent start.
Aurie was followed by A Dot, representing African comedy. Alas his act failed to hit the spot as he reeled off far too many disparaging anti-Jamaican remarks and sexist jokes regarding the difference in attention received by good looking and less attractive women. Unsurprisingly, that didn’t go down well in a largely female and Jamaican crowd!
Breakfast Radio star of Choice FM (well it was Choice FM on this night, it’s since been re-branded as Capital 1 Xtra), Kojo (Ghana) representing Africa delivered a set that covered familiar ground of sex and anecdotes from phone calls received on his radio show. I’ve not seen Kojo in a while and I have to say I’ve seen much more side splitting humour from him before. The Avator story was interesting, but was more anecdote than joke as he berated caller “Katherine, from Croydon” for not thinking on her feet when her child asked her what Blue movies were.
Will E Robbo
Energettically representing The World was American comedian Will E Robbo, he of the funny voices and athletic moves was witty with his jesting. He went down very well with the audience – with his vocal ability he ought to be doing movie voice over’s as well as stand-up comedy.
Kicking off the second half was Kane Brown. One of the younger, newer faces on the comedy scene, he livened things up with some early audience banter, but overall I found his material very boisterous and coarse and overly sex animated. Whilst that’s great for shock factor and as an attention grabbing ploy, if good jokes aren’t found in the subject then the build up is lost and it seemed a bit over the top.
Headliner and comedy stalwart Richard Blackwood delivered a trademark set and something of a discussion with the audience, something he seems to love doing at Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Tonight it was on the theme of “players” and why men can play, decide to quit the game and get married at some point of their choosing. Richard animated why in his view women “players” can’t do this and then expect to be seen as wife material when they chose to quit the game.
There were moments of good humour in this; Richard made a funny point, a debatable one at that. The story telling method of comedy is all well and good, time went on and on and there was not much time to do the riotous raucous humour intended, because of the short amount of stage time left on the night.
I think a 1-2 hour show should be within Richard’s capability now, but I don’t think this worked so well in the short amount of stage time he had on the night.
I can’t ever recall seeing Richard in a one man comedy show before and look forward to seeing him doing his first such show for over 10 years in January 2014. Richard will be performing at The Indigo O2 on 11th January 2014.
Comedy Face Off
In the comedy face off part of the evening, comedians from Jamaica did battle with those from The World.
Kojo 3 – Richard Blackwood 0
First up was Kojo (The World) v Richard Blackwood (Jamaica) in a round of “your mother” jokes. Richard opened by saying he’s not very good at these types of jokes. It seemed like he was getting his excuses in early. So it proved to be as Kojo came out with a series of killer one liners, whilst Richard raised some laughter. Horses for courses and many Comedian’s don’t go in for such rapid fire, pithy jokes, but it was an interesting test of who can think on their feet hilariously.
Aurie Styla 4 – A Dot 0
When it came to Aurie Styla (Jamaica) v A Dot (The World) there was no contest and Aurie stole the show with a series of funny jokes, whereas A Dot delivered more acerbic, boisterous, angry young man material in the vein of Rhod Gilbert, which lacked comedic punch.
The decider was between Kane Brown and Will E Robbo.
You could sense the tension on stage as the Jamaican team struggled to decide who would take to the stage one last time for the deciding contest. Kane hadn’t yet been on stage so he was the natural choice and eventually he did go on to take on Will E Robbo.
Alas the lack of confidence to claim that decider spot came through and he quit half way through the joke he was making, deciding to bail out before even getting close to the punch line. This paved the way for Will E Robbo to clean up with a minute of hard hitting comedy that had the audience falling about laughing.
Congratulations to The World, 2-1 winners tonight.
Headlining the night was Curtis Walker. He closed the show brilliantly with some old favourites – relating to his weight and visit to his Jamaican family, interspersed with some great new material.
I like the concept of Jamaica v The World, which recognises the dominance of Jamaican comedians, but much of the material delivered on the night trod overly familiar ground (race, differences between Black and White people, relationships, sex etc…) and not in a new or uniquely amusing way, however entertaining and in some cases uproarious comedy. For some reason the short, competitive format was a real comedy battle for some and though jovial, it appeared to be lacking in quality performances. It’s a good concept that seemed to be well received, but there’s room for more improvement.
© Tiemo Talk of the Town
Updated 19th October 2013