Black Lives Matter Comedy Show Review

Star rating: *****
Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust Fundraiser

Comedy Store
1a Oxendon Street
London SW1
Monday 8th June 2015

A scorching hot line up of some of the country’s top young comedians assembled at the world famous Comedy Store in the heartbeat of London’s West End with the intention of not only making the audience laugh, but raising money for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.

The show, organised by Comedian Imran Yusuf, was held together by a great compere, Jason Patterson. With a nice line in friendly and funny audience banter his wide repertoire of jokes kept people laughing away all night. His interpretation of the things non-Londoner’s criticize about the capital was especially amusing.

Marlon Davis

There were many outstanding performances on the night, but arguably the stand out set was that from Marlon Davis, 31. His tales of being a new father were achingly funny. His set was full of strong jokes, much of which pertained to his relationships with the mother of his child and his own mother.

In a well thought out, finely structured show, there seemed to be a real element of truth and believability to the stories he told which made them even more memorable and hilarious.

Prince Abdi

After a slow start, blamed on a poor Chinese meal experience in Soho, but maybe just part of the act, Prince Abdi really got into his stride. There were jokes about his Somalian roots and I don’t mean his amazing crop of hair either, but playing it for all it’s worth re the Somalian piracy stories a few years ago.

The many different accents he mimicked were great and added to the joyousness of his set. Being, presumably, the only Somalian Comedian working in the UK, he brings something different to the comedy table which is refreshingly original and enjoyable. There was nothing too heavy or political, just good old fashioned jokes.

Dane Baptiste

Dane was introduced by Jason as the first Black Comedian to be nominated for the prestigious Best Newcomer award at the Edinburgh Fringe last year for his ‘Citizen Dane’ show. Dane started off by correcting Jason and informing the audience that he was not the first Black nominee (that honour went to American Reginald D Hunter) but the first Black British nominee. He used this to make a fine, running gag re how lowly he stands in the ranks of “great” Black Britons!

Dane Baptiste

Dane Baptiste

He was on brilliant sardonic, dead pan form, with a slightly political edge at times as he poked fun at the absurdity of some police stop and search tactics. With performances like this he will be rapidly rising up the ranks of great Black Britons.

Ola

Ola was largely exercised by race and brought a more political edge to proceedings talking about being a minority in Wales and the other circumstances where his ethnicity was an issue, for instance a diversity award, that pitted different minorities against one another.

Referring to the fact he had been nominated for another award, a Black Comedy Award (Tiemo’s own no less) he said whilst that was nice, he’d rather be recognised for being the best Comedian rather than the best Black Comedian.

Point taken, but there is a reason why we’ve had the Black Comedy Awards, BEFFTA’s, The MOBO’s, The Screen Nation Awards etc.. and all manner of award ceremonies recognising Black achievement. If it wasn’t deemed necessary to have unapologetically Black categorisation and celebrations of success, we would not have had such as gig as this entitled #Black Lives Matter.

#Lives Matter doesn’t quite have the same impact and if you read the historical and present day socio-political context underpinning #BLM I’m sure people would over stand that. There is a brilliant article on the #BLM website ( link below) explaining the origins behind #BLM that is well worth a read.

 

 

Backstage with the 8 Comedians 8th June 2015

Backstage with the 8 Comedians 8th June 2015  Prince Abdi, Nathan Caton, Nabil Abdulrashid, Funmbi, Jason Patterson, Marlon Davis, Ola and Dane Baptiste 

Funmbi

Funmbi was good value for money. Fresh from his week-end appearance on the first episode of the brand new John Bishop show, he was less political, providing more gentle natured comedy poking fun at his Nigerian names and nice guy appearance.

Nabil Abdulrashid

Nabil was a lot more politically strident. However his delivery was at times so fast it was nigh on impossible to make out what he was saying. Overall though he was well received and hit the mark with some astute observations.

Nathan Caton

Headliner for the night Nathan Caton had the thankless and somewhat unenviable job of topping everything that had gone before. Sadly he wasn’t able to and that was a shame. Being on late in the night, following seven very good comedians is a tough ask.

There were some good gags  but over use of the F word and the somewhat nervous delivery, especially at the start did not win over everybody.

Nathan’s audience interaction fell a little flat. I think the front row had largely been left alone by the acts, except for Jason, which they were fine with as they had been promised they would not be “picked on” at the start as Jason encouraged people to fill up the front rows rather than congregate at the back.

He then launched into a routine re being referred to as “my nigga” by an African-American he met in the South of France. He wasn’t impressed at all. Fine. We got that and it was a good anecdote but not necessarily an especially funny one. However as this was meant to be a political comedy night – #Black Lives Matter –  that was topically on point.

However his message that people shouldn’t be using the N word, even as a greeting between Black people, lost a lot of it’s currency with me when he liberally peppered his routine with the F word in virtually every other sentence. It was gratuitous, off putting and annoying. It doesn’t sit well to launch a routine re finding a particular word so offensive by simultaneously using another word that many would say is equally, if not more offensive.

You would struggle to recall the likes of Curtis Walker, Dara O’Briain, John Bishop, Michael McIntyre or Slim for instance using that word in their routines and look where they are.

Notwithstanding that, all in all this was a brilliant show and easily one of the very best I’ve seen all year.

Take a bow Mr Imran Yusuf for organising this show. The quality was high and consistent, with each new act bringing something funny to the stage. The show and line up was worthy of Stephen Lawrence’s name. I’m sure he would be chuckling away if he could have seen this.

Review © Tiemo Talk of the Town

#BLM Backstage photo © The Comedy Store

Links:

  1. Black Lives Matter campaign
  2. Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust – vision
  3. You can see many of the above acts on the comedy circuit all over the country as well as at the Edinburgh Fringe between 7th – 31st August 2015
  4. Tiemo Entertainments Funny Ha Ha Amazon Store
  5. Alchemedians Live review – Best of Asian comedy – 12th June 2015
  6. Bearcat Comedy review featuring Bob Mills – 29th May 2015
  7. Black Comedy Awards 2013 review – 9th March 2015
  8. Stand up for the Comedy School review – 6th November 2013

BlackLivesMattersposter08.06.15

#BlackLivesMatter is working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.  We affirm our contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.  We have put our sweat equity and love for Black people into creating a political project–taking the hashtag off of social media and into the streets. The call for Black lives to matter is a rallying cry for ALL Black lives striving for liberation.

Source: Black Lives Matter

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12 Responses to Black Lives Matter Comedy Show Review

  1. Tiemo Talk says:

    All #BlackLivesMatter. This is Not a Moment, but a Movement

    #BlackLivesMatter was created in 2012 after Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted for his crime, and dead 17-year old Trayvon was post-humously placed on trial for his own murder. Rooted in the experiences of Black people in this country who actively resist our de-humanization, #BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society .Black Lives Matter is a unique contribution that goes beyond extrajudicial killings of Black people by police and vigilantes.

    It goes beyond the narrow nationalism that can be prevalent within Black communities, which merely call on Black people to love Black, live Black and buy Black, keeping straight cis Black men in the front of the movement while our sisters, queer and trans and disabled folk take up roles in the background or not at all. Black Lives Matter affirms the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, black-undocumented folks, folks with records, women and all Black lives along the gender spectrum. It centers those that have been marginalized within Black liberation movements. It is a tactic to (re)build the Black liberation movement.

    When we say Black Lives Matter, we are broadening the conversation around state violence to include all of the ways in which Black people are intentionally left powerless at the hands of the state. We are talking about the ways in which Black lives are deprived of our basic human rights and dignity. How Black poverty and genocide is state violence. How 2.8 million Black people are locked in cages in this country is state violence. How Black women bearing the burden of a relentless assault on our children and our families is state violence. How Black queer and trans folks bear a unique burden from a hetero-patriarchal society that disposes of us like garbage and simultaneously fetishizes us and profits off of us, and that is state violence. How 500,000 Black people in the US are undocumented immigrants and relegated to the shadows. How Black girls are used as negotiating chips during times of conflict and war. How Black folks living with disabilities and different abilities bear the burden of state sponsored Darwinian experiments that attempt to squeeze us into boxes of normality defined by white supremacy, and that is state violence.

    Source: Black Lives Matter website

  2. Aminah says:

    Tiemo Talk this review is ridiculous. The show is entitled Black lives matter and is in aid of the Stephen Lawrence Charity, if it wasn’t clear enough that it is addressing a political issue. The fact the writer seems to dismiss any comic with any political content as “heavy” seems to be missing the point with the whole event.

    This sort of castrated mentality is a plague among so many ethnic minorities in media that would rather play Uncle Tom than rock the boat with any real opinions of substance . These same Uncle Toms tag team with the white establishment to censor any black or minority act brave enough to actually discuss real issues from a genuine standpoint and not just say things “mass boss wants to hear”.

    Ola’s joke of wanting to be recognised as the best comedian rather than the best black comedian is emphasising the fact that race shouldn’t be bought into success and that it is divisive and almost like a second class award. Why should success be qualified when you are black? It’s hilarious to then see the writer talking about the social and political background of ‪#‎BLM‬, ofcourse ‪#‎livesmatters‬ doesn’t have the same impact as it doesn’t fit the context. Have you been watching the news? It’s not non-blacks that have been abused and killed by the police recently.

    To at further insult, to put together two respectable acts into the same sentence and a mere line to sum up each act is just a absurd. Nabil Abdulrashid and Funmbi are not a double act, as with the others they each had their own sets. If you are going to review each act be just. I think it’s clear that Nabils pace is part of his act and I had no issues understanding him. I think it comes down to intellect. This writer does not seem to be interested in anything thought-provoking. Infact it’s the biggest joke that this organisation even has the audacity to review the event when they are the same people who prefer to give awards to jerk chicken vs. jollof rice comics who haven’t been around for years.

    Each comic successfully brought something different to the event so congratulations to all the acts it was a brilliant night!!

  3. Tiemo Talk says:

    @Aminah – Thank you for taking the time to write in with your comments. When you say the review is ridiculous, I take it you mean ridiculously good, which I take as a compliment. Thank you.

    I think you have misunderstood elements of the review. Far from dismissing any comedian with political comment, I actually really welcomed those that did do so (and mentioned that Ola, Nabil and partially Dane Baptiste referenced politics in their sets). In fact I was much more disappointed at the lack of political comment coming from the stage. Didn’t you feel it was lacking?

    Furthermore there were surprisingly just a few references to Stephen Lawrence upon whose live this fundraiser was in aid of. One might have expected Nathan to say more on this, especially as he has something in common with Stephen – a love for architecture. Nathan has a degree in Architecture, the subject Stephen was studying before his untimely death in April 1993.

    There was also very little reference to the #BlackLivesMatter campaign or even the spirit of it. Therefore I don’t understand the insulting Uncle Tom references or claims there was a lack of substantive opinion in the review, when the reality is that very few of the acts even discussed, as you phrase it, “real issues from a genuine standpoint.” This meant there was very little of substance to get stuck into as a reviewer.

    Re the awards. I would concur with you that a “Black award” from any organisation, in any genre of entertainment, sport or business is generally always going to carry less kudos than a mainstream award where EVERYBODY is a contender. The problem with such awards, especially where nominees and voting is conducted by a jury of mainly white peers, is that Black talent usually misses out, hence the rarity of Black performers winning at the British Comedy Awards, the BAFTAs, the BRITs, OSCARS, Perrier Awards, British Television Awards, British Soap Awards and any manner of major mainstream awards you can think of. Therefore Black awards enable Black talent to be at least recognised by their own. If, on the back of that, the mainstream take note of the talent out there, things might change.

    This extends to giving awards to newcomers in the comedy game. Not quite sure it was necessary to criticise new talent. The people voted and selected Thanyia Moore and Dizzle as Best newcomers in 2013 and Kayleigh Lewis and Nathan Caton in 2012. Awards have also been won by Richard Blackwood, Slim and Angie Le Mar in recent years, hardly “jerk chicken v jollof rice” Comedians.

    The newcomers comedy may not be as developed as veterans of the game like Sir Lenny Henry, Richard Blackwood and Slim, but they have to start somewhere and from building up the recognition within their own community, they may be able to use that to propel them to greater heights in the mainstream. I certainly don’t think it can be a hindrance. Don’t you consider it a good thing to recognise up and coming talent? Re where that takes them, it depends what people do with the status of winning awards. Many awards exist and plenty of Actors and Comedians seem to like peppering their CV’s with the names of awards they’ve been nominated for, never mind won!

    In this regard the newly knighted Sir Lenny Henry is to be highly commended, not just for his 40 years at the top in show business, the £1billion raised in the last 30 years since he founded Comic Relief, but over the last few years for pushing the diversity case for better representation for Black actors on TV.

    Point taken re Funbi and Nabil. They had already been put in separate headings by the time you posted.

    We are fully in agreement that each Comedian brought something to the event and that it was a brilliant show, so on that note of harmony I will say thank you and goodnight.

  4. Aminah Iqbal says:

    Firstly, with a name like Aminah, most people with a basic education would know that it is a female name. Also, by ridiculous I meant the dictionary definition – I’ve put it below to make it easier for you:

    Adjective: deserving or inviting derision or mockery; absurd.
    synonyms: laughable, absurd, comical, funny, hilarious, humorous, risible, derisory, droll, amusing, entertaining, diverting, chucklesome, farcical, slapstick, silly, facetious, ludicrous, hysterical, riotous, side-splitting.

    I think you should read your review again, I don’t think any reader would get the idea that you welcomed politic content. The review portrays a likeness for not “too heavy” content and just “good old fashioned jokes”. Any act that had safe humour seems to be welcomed. I didn’t feel political comment was lacking; each act brought a different element which was needed. After all it is a comedy show not a vigil. I don’t think any person let alone Stephens Charity would appreciate humour in his name. Just like Comic Relief, though money is raised for those less fortunate I don’t expect to see comics making poverty humorous or talking about it in their set. I expect to see them doing what they normally do with the hope of laughing. I came to the show knowing money was going to a great cause but also expecting a good night filled with laughs and that is what it was given. Not all the jokes were to my liking but there was a clear balance which made it enjoyable for all. I don’t even understand the point of Nathan being expected to talk about architecture. Why should comics who spend a very long time writing material and mastering their craft be expected to make up new material for one show? That’s absurd. I wouldn’t expect Beyoncé to make up a new relevant song if she decided to be part of a charitable fundraiser.

    I think there is a clear difference in what we understand as real issues. Marlon addressed the inability of his art teacher to see past his ethnic background and orientalism in the arts, Funmbi spoke about police profiling, Ola spoke about white privilege and colonialism, and Nabil spoke about the counter terrorism act, media not portraying black people as human individuals and hypocrisy of right-wing extremists. If these aren’t real issues, what is?

    I agree that Black talent does miss out in mainstream awards which is why it is so important we support our own. With that being said, I do not believe your organisation has awarded any of these men who have their own following and doing something current and beneficial for the community. I have not criticised new talent, with all due respect to bring up acts like Richard Blackwood who has not been on the scene for many years now is somewhat ridiculous. You have mentioned the same geriatric and semi-retired comics which to me emphasises your lack of knowledge of the current circuit. Could you name atleast 3 current comics who do anything political/conscious that you have nominated or have given an award to? Absolutely we should celebrate new talent. It is high-time we honour fresh and intelligent comics.

    His name is spelt Funmbi. Nabil and him do now have separate headings but the review for each of their acts is still poorly written and neither of their acts have been given justice.

    We aren’t in full agreement, if you needed to be told to show respect to each act on the night. And on that note, Goodnight.

  5. Tiemo Talk says:

    @Aminah – I have never heard of a name like yours before. I therefore apologise for showing you respect but inadvertently calling you Sir instead of Madame.

    Thank you for printing out the definition of ridiculous. That’s most helpful. Not. As you say, anyone with an education should know what the word means without recourse to a dictionary, but there you go. Perhaps whilst you have it to hand you could look up the word irony.

    Why would I read my own review again or check it to see if I welcomed political content? I know and stand by everything I wrote and I know what I like when it comes to comedy and politics. I don’t need to read my reviews to remind myself what I like – LoL. Strange suggestion to make, but thank you anyway.

    Again you’ve misunderstood. I do like heavy content as well as good old fashioned jokes. Heavier content is that which you get from the likes of Reginald D Hunter, Rory Bremner, John Gordillo, Chris Rock, David Mulholland, Hannibal Buress, Kate Smurthwaite, Kwaku , Trevor Noah and W Kamau Bell to name but a few.

    “I didn’t feel political comment was lacking.” I disagree. There was no where near enough of it for my liking. To have a fundraiser for #BLM and Stephen Lawrence and barely mention the cause or the name in a 2 hour + show was a little bit unusual to say the least.

    “Just like Comic Relief, though money is raised for those less fortunate I don’t expect to see comics making poverty humorous or talking about it in their set. I expect to see them doing what they normally do with the hope of laughing.”

    Yes and no. Of course it’s about being funny in order to keep people watching and donating. Some did relevant material. Funnily enough I was watching Doc Brown’s Comic Relief appearance (13.03.15) a few days ago and it was brilliant. A relevant set written specifically with Comic Relief in mind. This shows it can be done and you don’t have to skirt over the serious issue. What did you think? Trevor Noah also did some relevant and political humour too. He often does fitting material for the occasion he is booked for.

    “I came to the show knowing money was going to a great cause but also expecting a good night filled with laughs and that is what it was given.”

    I agree it was a very good night filled with plenty of great jokes and laughs. As you mention it, how much money was raised? Ola & Jason – Please step in if you know.

    “ Not all the jokes were to my liking but there was a clear balance which made it enjoyable for all.” Agreed.

    I don’t even understand the point of Nathan being expected to talk about architecture. Why should comics who spend a very long time writing material and mastering their craft be expected to make up new material for one show? That’s absurd.

    It’s self-explanatory. Please re-read the comment and see above re Doc Brown.

    Re Beyonce – I see your point but it’s just not correct in its entirety as recording artists do write new charity records for causes e.g. ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’ and ‘We are the world’ specifically to raise money. Those hit records raised £millions$.

    “With all due respect to bring up acts like Richard Blackwood who has not been on the scene for many years now is somewhat ridiculous.”

    That comment is simply incorrect. Richard has been busy on the scene for the last few years – as soon as Shrek finished he was back on the circuit. He’s only gone off it this year due to Eastenders.

    “You have mentioned the same geriatric and semi-retired comics which to me emphasises your lack of knowledge of the current circuit.”

    If you refer to entire circuit I know a lot, but not all of them – with over 600 comedians working it would be hard to be familiar with everyone. Re the Black circuit, I have a fairly good feel for who’s around, but I’m sure there must be some I’m unfamiliar with of course as there are a lot of comedians out there. The comedians I mentioned with the exception of Sir Lenny are all current, working, professional stand up’s.

    I’ve posted 274 reviews in 4 years of writing my blogs so I’m no stranger to the inside of a comedy club or theatre! Most fairly active Black comedians have been reviewed. How many shows have you attended in the last 4 years?

    “Could you name at least 3 current comics who do anything political/conscious that you have nominated or have given an award to?”

    Good question. In terms of British comedians, not many at all. Ola’s been nominated. Gina Yasherre can be quite political and has won 3 awards at the last two award ceremonies. In terms of others, Reginald D Hunter, Hannibal Burell, W Kamau Bell & Chris Rock have been nominated for awards and are all politically conscious.

    In my view there are simply not many Black British acts doing political or consciously motivated comedy as a key feature of their acts. Maybe there are a lot more who are not on my radar or who’s style has recently got more political. I’d be interested to know who you see as political and conscious so I can check them out.

    Re Funmbi and Nabil

    In an 8 act show I’m not going to and don’t have to write the same amount on every single act. I don’t agree it was poorly written (except the name typo which I will edit), but I do agree with you that it was very brief, but that’s what it is. You’re welcome to add your own commentary on their acts. That’s what the blog is for.

    Re showing respect to all acts for you to say I haven’t is hard to fathom. I’ve given it the highest 5 star rating I could give it. I’ve not wholeheartedly praised everyone, but all were complimented to a greater or lesser extent. Besides I’m reviewing the show not doing the shows’s PR, so where criticism had to be given it was. Just as you are entitled to and have been doing so with regards to the review.

  6. Aminah Iqbal says:

    Tiemo Talk – With pathetic attempts at wit like that it’s no wonder your review is subpar. But then as they say, “those who can’t do become critics”.

    Most competent writers (key word being competent), read through their writing, it’s called proof-reading. Perhaps if you had done that in the first place you would have spelt Funmbi’s name correctly.

    Everyone you’ve named are acts that are either already mainstream big names or did comedy years ago. So the vibe I’m getting is that you’re an old guy who doesn’t wish to do his research or make the effort to recognise new talent. You’d rather give awards to old comics who were probably around when you were younger, or comics who have already broken through to mainstream thanks to white establishment.

    I’ve already gone over the amount of political content covered by the acts so I will not waste time repeating myself. Refer to previous comment.

    Trevor Noah did his typical set. Most comics who do events like Comic relief are getting paid ridiculous amounts and I’m sure you know a lot of them have writers. With TV, comedy can be altered, laughter can be edited in, and even with live shows there is a delay in broadcasting for manipulation. That’s why comedians can risk doing jokes written for the event, even if they go badly the show can be edited to make it seem like it went down well (old showbiz trick). This leads me to question your ability to critique; comparing TV comedy to Comedy in a room is a huge sign of inexperience in understanding how comedy actually works. I bet you think comics on Mock the Week and Never mind the Buzzcocks are doing off the cuff humour.

    I never mentioned the amount of money being raised and I’m not sure you know how these things work but I’m sure the acts may not know either. You’d be better to contact the Comedy Store or the organisers of the event.

    Those are only 2 songs, the Christmas song was written with little sensitivity towards Africans and situations in Africa that the lyrics had to be changed. There were debates on TV between Orientalists and Africans because of it.

    What circuit has Richard been on? Has he been at the Comedy Store? Has he been up at Edinburgh? Performing at the Catford theatre with fried chicken served at the break does not count as the circuit. These shows booked by promoters who book the same 5 comedians for Nigeria vs. the moon or Jamaica vs. Peckham type minstrel shows, with chicken eating competitions during the break and raffle draws for weave are not real comedy shows and do not count as the circuit.

    Reginald D Hunter and Hannibal Buress (the correct spelling of his name) are not British. W Kamau Bell has a show that’s produced by Chris Rock and is mainstream in America and Chris Rock – what’s the point of having awards that should be recognising new British talent to then give them to already established American comedians. I’m sure I’ll next see you presenting an award to Richard Pryor.

    I’m not going to name British political comics for you, do your own job.

    The difference is, my criticism is accurate and most people who attended the show would think your review is rubbish.

    Lastly, if you had mentioned Ava Vidal, Hari Kondabolu, Nishant Kumar, Aamer Rahman, or had nominated any of the comics above like Nabil Abdulrashid or Dane Baptiste in the past then maybe you would have credibility as someone who encourages young ethnic intelligent comics. But the fact is, all you have done is reel out names of comics already on TV which shows you to be nothing more than a fame whore. Attitudes like yours are the reason many Black comics leave the so called Black circuit in the first place if you even want to call it that. And for your information, I worked in a Comedy club that was opened every weekend for close to two years and it was a real comedy club that featured real circuit comedians (new and established) from the UK and abroad. I am also friends with people who run comedy clubs and comedians, putting that into perspective, I’ve probably seen more legitimate comedy shows than you have. I look forward to you writing positive things about the above comedians in the next 5 years, when they gain even more mainstream success (because they already have started breaking through) and then acting like you discovered them. Even then, you will probably still nominate Richard Blackwood for best newcomer. Goodnight.

  7. Tiemo Talk says:

    @Aminah – Firstly my review is not subpar. Maybe in your world it is, but your entitled to your opinion. If it’s sub par it will be helpful if you can publish the other reviews of this show so I can see how it’s sub par in comparison and look to improve in future.

    Second re being a critic is not a second choice as I had no desire to be a stand up comedian. Could you tell me how your stand up career went?

    Re competent writers and proof reading – do you know Hannibal Buress? Have you seen him live? I spelt his name correctly so it’s puzzling that you said it was incorrect?

    You keep going on about the comedy awards and making wild and inaccurate accusations. The thing is we both care re Black comedy and want to see new names break through, which is exactly what we’ve done with our newcomer awards so all this negativity is an unhelpful distraction. Awarding newcomers doesn’t preclude us from honouring those the public i.e. the voting public choose to vote for. If they prefer the older, more established acts, so be it. It’s up to the youngsters to step up to the plate but right now it’s the older folks selling out Broadway Theatre, Hackney Empire and the Apollo, not the young guys. It’s lazy of you in fact to suggest we have not recognised new and upcoming talent as we have done. In fact, when it comes to upcoming female talent there is barely any. Maybe that’s changed in the last 2 years but when we did the awards you could count on the fingers of one hand the number of new young Black female (under 25) comedian’s coming through. Did you read ‘Are Black women beyond a joke?’

    “Trevor Noah did his typical set. Most comics who do events like Comic relief are getting paid ridiculous amounts and I’m sure you know a lot of them have writers.”

    Really? He didn’t. That’s simply not true at all. He did a largely tailor made set mixed in with some failsafe older routines. If anything I expect them not to be getting paid for Comic Relief. It’s almost a standing jokes on the show re people not getting paid. In the Doc Brown clip I posted he jokes re this (I note you made no reference to that video).
    Unless that’s designed as a double bluff to fool the public, which is conceivable. Can you evidence that Comic Relief comedians are paid for their contributions on the night? I don’t believe they are, but if they are, I don’t have an issue with them being paid for an event that raised £70m.

    “I never mentioned the amount of money being raised and I’m not sure you know how these things work but I’m sure the acts may not know either. You’d be better to contact the Comedy Store or the organisers of the event.”

    I did. Are you saying the acts got paid for #BLM as you are quite clear that comedians get paid for charity events judging by your earlier comments? Whilst you did not say the amount of money raised you said categorically that: “I came to the show knowing money was going to a great cause but also expecting a good night filled with laughs and that is what it was given.”

    I have looked into this. So far none of the comedians have clarified how much was raised. If doing a gig in the name of a charity I’d expect an act to at least have a passing interest in exactly how much money their efforts raised for said charity and be able to come out publicly and say so especially if they promoted the show heavily in the build up. The fact no one answered is interesting.

    Re the American comedians mentioned, you asked me just to name comedians who’ve performed here with a political edge to their comedy. So I gave you a selection of names.

    “Lastly, if you had mentioned Ava Vidal, Hari Kondabolu, Nishant Kumar, Aamer Rahman, or had nominated any of the comics above like Nabil Abdulrashid or Dane Baptiste in the past then maybe you would have credibility as someone who encourages young ethnic intelligent comics.”

    Ava is not a young comedienne. Aamer is not funny. I reviewed his Soho Theatre show in March 2015. I’ve not even heard of Hari or Nishant. Dane was nominated for Best Male and Best Male Newcomer at the 2013 awards so not sure why you made that misleading comment. I rate him very highly. If he didn’t win that’s down to the voting public not Tiemo.

    Thanks for taking the time to engage in a debate here, but your anger, negativity and constant nit-picking criticism is misplaced for Tiemo also care passionately re the development and growth of Black comedians. We would not have put all the time, effort and financial investment that goes into the awards ceremonies if we were not interested. Neither would we have taken the time and effort of going out to see and review 280 shows in the last 4 years if we didn’t care. Who else reviews more Black comedy shows than Tiemo Talk of the Town?

    As we both love Black comedy and want it to grow and develop, we should be on the same side promoting Black British comedy rather than engaging in futile debate amongst ourselves.

  8. Tiemo Talk says:

    Black People Time Matters

    The attendance was quite healthy, especially for a Monday night and it was amusing to note at the interval that more people had arrived to take their seats AFTER the 8pm start time for the show than were there BEFORE 8pm!!

    I was especially impressed that the host Jason took to the stage at 7.59pm to make an announcement that the show would be starting in 5 minutes.

    Latecomers will have missed out on some cracking performances.

  9. Tiemo Talk says:

    Diversity

    Sadly there was little difference on stage. All were of a type. Young(ish) Black men in jeans and trainers. Where were the women? Well two comediennes, Athena Kugblenu and Variety D were sat in the audience watching rather than performing on stage. This is something I’ve written about before [‘Are Black Women Beyond a Joke?‘] and which needs addressing. That said there is no one on the radar at the moment, bar Judy Thomas, who seems to be smashing it at comedy gigs, so maybe the comediennes out there need to do a lot more to get noticed by promoters.

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