Star rating ****
Saturday 8th February 2014
Comics Unchained was a hit show. A Hackney Empire sell-out. It was definitely ‘the good the bad and the ugly’ but the less said about the ugly the better! There was plenty of, what was said on the posters, for example – ‘shooting from the lip’ comedy and it was a very funny show, professionally carried out by all the comedians. The ‘line up’ featured Black comedians from various nations. With the Felix Dexter tribute show on the following night in West London, a very good show was required to bring in the punters whose options this week-end were exceptional. The success of Comics Unchained is due to ‘unchained’ fresh comedy and talented performances from the promoters Gee Star productions.
Eddie Kadi – Host
Eddie Kadi was the host for the night. He warmed up the audience nicely and welcomed each comedian onto the stage with his own special greeting. He was very funny, showing of his trademark dance moves. It’s clear to see that Eddie Kadi is the Louis Spence of comedy!
It is true he likes dancing and stamping on the stage until you get the joke. He did short sets between each act to show off his comic talents, meaning there were constant jokes coming left right and centre from everyone.
Eddie Kadi is engaging and you can’t take your eyes off him because he spends a lot of the time prancing around on the stage and is very animated and that is what makes him funny.
First comedian on, A Dot gave the men in the audience jokey tips on how to get a woman. Tips on praying to God for help and begging girlfriend’s for their friend’s number.
There were lots of jokes that night regarding bondage and the illegal immigration situation and said to the audience (with wide eyes) hinting that a prayer to god will not make any difference; this really made the audience laugh. I think a bonus would have been had if he’d added a real element of topicality to this routine by referencing Mark Harper. Who, I hear you ask? He was the ex-Immigration Minister who resigned on the afternoon of the show (8th February 2014) having illegally employed a Columbian Cleaner. Admittedly this story seemed to break very late in the afternoon, so was too late to include in his routine.
Gee Star productions said he would be controversial and he was. There were some very fine jokes about the weather and the tedium of going Axel got it right on T, yes there can be issues with going to work every day and he did the ‘do I really need to be working jokes’ and they went down a treat. He cracked benefit jokes which were funny. Again the audience laughed at the, not too stylish, but hilarious sex jokes including chlamydia issues, made the audience laugh so much. The family brother argument with his brother joke went down a treat. You can engage with the horror story that was made to make you laugh and the fact that it can last 3 days added to the trauma as we saw how the argument escalated to potentially ending up in hospital. This really amused the audience and had them in stitches of laughter.
There were some good jokes that skipped a generation shall we say when he talked about various brand name clothing, which half the audience got and half wondered what he was on about, that in itself was really funny!
Would I see him again? God yes!!!
As she made her grand entrance, Glenda Jaxson wanted the audience to notice her boobs bounce onto the stage to music, which warmed up the audience’s funny bones for the rude sex jokes about to come, which as ever are always hilarious. She always comes nice.
She joked about the fact that men just can’t get it right when it comes to the bedroom department. There was nothing left to the imagination and the animation used that night left everyone laughing. She is crude, but truly brilliant, bring her back please.
Muscles, tattoos and the f*ckable shirt were on the stage and yes the girls wanted a rewind of his stage entrance and Richard Blackwood duly obliged. Rewind. He went off and came back on stage just for them. Oh how they screamed! He told them he had ripped his shirt in anticipation of seeing the women in the audience. Yes that went down a treat. Man and man need to work hard and flex up in the bedroom! He was joking around the stage and really made everyone laugh with the best moves in the bed jokes!!!!!
He retold the You Tube sex sensation Dominic story about the guy who was drunk and out of it on New Year’s Eve and let some woman stoop over him when he was lying on the floor and did things to her lower region which made her happy but not him and now he has probably left the country in shame! That was a very funny, killer routine.
As Richard demonstrated how each race deals with such a thing, it was clear the joke was what black people would do and everyone laughed.
His ‘take me out’ TV show routine was brilliantly animated and acted out on stage and had the audience in hysterics. Richard won ‘Best Stand up Host’ and an acting award too at the recent Black Comedy Awards 2013. On this performance it’s not hard to see why he is such a crowd favourite.
Former star of Hackney’s ‘Alter Ego’ talent show and ‘The Voice’, Jermain Jackman, sang a couple of songs, that wouldn’t have been out of place coming out of a voice of a man twice his age. Jermaine’s just 19 years old.
His vocal range was sensational, though I think it would have been better served by a different song selection more appropriate for his voice and gender.
There were plenty of new jokes from headliner Slim, Winner Best Male Comedian – Black Comedy Awards 2013 (four times in total). There were jokes regarding parenting and how he takes a harder line with his 23 year old son who thinks he can challenge his “old man” whereas with his daughter, he parents her in a less confrontational style. It was nice to hear some “real talk” as he shared the experience of having his grown up son come and live with him for a year.
There were some very humorous jokes re prison and crude but honest tricks used to avoid unwanted sex, the Woolwich murder (22 May 2013) and how Jamaicans and West Indians in general felt when realising it was an African, not a West Indian who’d committed the killing of Lee Rigby. Tragic subject and Slim found the funny, whilst pointedly making it clear he abhorred what happened. Very important as it could have been seen to be in poor taste.
I liked the jokes too regarding Slim’s incredulence at three American women being held captive in their home for over a decade. As if that could happen to three sistas!!
After each set Eddie Kadi would bring each act back on stage for a mini-interview. Slim said that he gets a buzz from live performance, be it 10 people in a hall or a packed Hackney Empire, he always gives his all. He also mentioned how he’d helped a friend get tickets for this show. You wondered why he mentioned this kind deed, then all was revealed when he said that his special guest was none other than former Heavyweight Champion of the World Lennox Lewis. Cue huge applause as the audience goes wild as he’s pointed out sitting in the balcony seats. Perhaps because he was well out of reach Slim proceeded to tease him and ask whether he smacks his children… “only when nobody’s looking joked Lennox”!
A fantastic night of comedy was enjoyed by the huge audience. On a huge week-end for Black comedy, this show set the bar very high.
© Michael Peters – Tiemo Talk of the Town