LOL UK USA Special
Star Rating: **
Saturday 13th June 2015
Sex. Race. Sex. Race. Sex. Race. Sex.
Thank you and goodnight. I hope you enjoyed the review.
That’s all you needed to know about this show really. In the beginning there was sex. In the middle there was sex and it finished with a, you guessed it, big bang. BOOM!
The LOL UK USA special featured five American Comedians, one resident in the UK for the last 5 years, Mr Will E Robbo, the other four had flown in especially for this mini-tour which took in Manchester on the 12th June 2015, this Central London show and concluded in Birmingham on the 14th June 2015.
Maybe that was the brief, no pun intended, but all 5 acts seem utterly obsessed with sex as the subject dominated each of their sets. A lot of it was unfortunately very slack, rank comedy of the lowest common denominator and not at all what was expected going by the LOL UK promotion for the show.
Will E Robbo
Will E Robbo (BET Comic View, Def Jam Comedy and P Diddy’s Bad Boys of Comedy) was a pretty good host. He engaged well with the talkative, friendly parties seated on the front row tables. There was good banter as he zoned in on the fact there was one Black man on a table of white people. They were all friends out celebrating his birthday. The jokes worked and that was bit of a running theme, picking on the mixed racial groups. Fair enough, they seemed fine with it and the audience found it funny, but was it really necessary? Was it that unusual? This is London 2015, not South Africa 1965. Has Will E Robbo never seen mixed groups out together before? If a Black guy went to a mainstream comedy show and was the only Black person there, would he expect or appreciate being singled out by the Compere? I very much doubt it.
He delivered routines on the stereotype of angry Black women which went down quite well and was done in an original way referencing the impact they have on the hair (or lack of) of Black men with Black women partners v men dating or married to non-Black women!
He did a lot of material focusing on differences between Black and white people, plus women with natural hair v weaves. With some material he went way too far such as in referencing the hygiene standards of ladies “nether regions.” Why?
Nema Williams (P Diddy’s bad Boys of Comedy) was the one white Comedian on the show. Well he said he was and he looked white, but who knows, maybe he was really Black?!! (vis a viz Rachel Dolezal, the “Black” – because she says she is despite being 100% White American – President of NAACP). He also said his family origins are Sicilian, so I think we’ll leave it at that. If he says he’s white then he is. If he wants to call himself Chinese I’m not going to argue with that either!
He was quite good, making great use of Bob Marley music to introduce himself to the London audience. The image of Jamaican’s fighting in the war in Afghanistan was funny and memorable.
The material comparing and contrasting a typical catholic church service with a Black church was spot on and enjoyed by the audience.
He also, unsurprisingly referred to race quite a bit in his set. He established, not that he had to, his “Black” credentials by saying he was engaged to an African woman and so certainly knows how to handle, how can we put this delicately, “his business.” I liked the way he addressed perceptions he feels that Black people have of him when he walks down the street with his Nubian Queen. He neatly turned that on its head by telling us what he thinks of Black men walking down the street with a white girl. That had the crowd heartedly laughing away. 15-15 in tennis parlance!
Starting off gently with weave v natural hair material, Karlous Miller (Wild ‘N Out) displayed a mild, yet exaggerated homophobia in his routine. I’m sure it was just for laughs. It was quite childishly amusing in a way. He sadly overused the N word like it was going out of fashion (many wish it was).
He talked endlessly about sex and what he likes to do. Like others before him he went too far and there were moments when he lost the audience because of that. One of the, I presume, American phrases he used went over people’s “head”. The towel joke especially went down as well as a flaccid dick in a brothel. Very badly.
There was little said of substance in his set, which was a shame as I would presume he has more to offer than he showed.
Vanessa Fraction was a late and very welcome addition to the show, replacing Tiffany Haddish, who for reasons unexplained was missing from the line up.
In fact, if you exclude the host, 50% of the promoted line up were changed. It would have been nice if the Compere or organiser had explained why to the fans who came to see the advertised line up.
I first saw Vanessa 2 years ago at the Broadway Theatre when she made her debut in London and she was superb so I was keen to see her again. She didn’t disappoint and delivered a barnstorming performance that raised the roof of the packed Camden Centre. Her early routine re #Black Lives Matter was the first real political moment of the show. It was topical, on point and plain funny. Making a political and frivolously amusing personal point all at the same time.
From politics to tragi-comedy, her bereavement stripper routine was hilarious and it was great seeing her going into the audience to, ahem, perform. It reminded me of the American Comedienne and Actress Mugga who did something similar at one of Tiemo Entertainments early comedy shows in Hammersmith, back in November 2005. Mugga was not stripping of course, but left the stage to go to the back of the room to entertain those who thought that by sitting at the back they were “safe” from the clutches of the star Comedienne! It was all good fun.
She talked a lot re relationships, or rather the lack of and sex. Though by now clear this was the running theme of the show, the difference with Vanessa was that she linked it more to sex within a relationship as opposed to the mere act of sex as a performance , which was the way the male comedians referred to sex as if it was just something they do to a woman rather than being a mutually agreeable, joint physical expression of love. She was funny with it and the female energy and balance she brought to a mainly male line up was very welcome.
In a night when the talk all night was of hard cxxxs, it was somewhat ironic that a female rocked up at the last minute and stole the show with the performance of the night!
It was great to hear her lovely singing voice again and watch her athletic gyrations on stage. She and Will E Robbo sure are fit and must burn a lot of calories in their routines!
Rip Michaels (Wild ‘N Out) the final act of the night and I presume replacement for Rob Stapleton opened well with a lot of music and quickly got the crowd onside. Again there was just too much focus on sex and eating pxxxy.
The father-daughter routine worked quite well, though if a true story I don’t think “his princess” will be too impressed to have a very personal moment used by her Daddy for comedic material. Maybe it was just a joke, but in these days of observational comedy you never know.
Overall this was a mixed bag of comedy, with plenty of highlights and lowlights. As I said a the start, it was predominantly rank, lowest common denominator comedy of the vulgarist kind. There was definitely some quality on stage and some great laughs had amongst all that, but too much of the material and subject matter was disappointingly unedifying and not worthy of the occasion. To be fair, the large audience seemed to be enjoying it, but there were visibly a number of occasions when the acts lost the crowd by going way over the top with their Def Jam style X rated sex material. I expected something much classier. A little more variety of comedy styles and subject matter would not have gone amiss.
Review © Tiemo Talk of the Town
Sarah Moore took to the stage before the interval to promote the Silimanjaro climbing of Mount Kilimanjaro that she, Eddie Nestor, Lisa Nestor and Dave McQueen are doing to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Sadly she announced that Robbie Gee has just withdrawn due to a major contract he has just secured with ITV, for which, unfortunately, filming clashes with the climb.
The group are looking to raise £40k and so far are up to £25.5k so please give generously if you would like to support this wonderfully brave, or should that be foolhardy, charity climb.
- Black Lives Matter campaign
- Black History Month Comedy Festival 3rd – 29th October 2015 – LOL UK – BHM Shows
- You can see many new and established acts from Britain and all over the world at the Edinburgh Fringe between 7th – 31st August 2015
- Tiemo Entertainments Funny Ha Ha Amazon Store
- Alchemedians Live review – Best of Asian comedy – 12th June 2015
- Bearcat Comedy review featuring Bob Mills – 29th May 2015
- Funny-n-Stiletto’s – Broadway Theatre show starring Vanessa Fraction. Review – 3rd May 2013
#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