We need to showcase our comedians

May 25, 2016
File Christopher 'Johnny' Daley
Contributed Ity and Fancy Cat

Hey, you remember 'The Original Kings of Comedy'? If you don't remember it or never got to see it, hush! It's not too late though, yuh know. I recommend you grab the chance, find it somehow, somewhere and give it a watch. Yeah, man. Trust me, you won't regret it. It is epic and a classic. It's a hilarious movie directed by Spike Lee and stars four top-notch stand-up comics at the height of their game - Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and the late Bernie Mac.

The bulk of the film was recorded in front of a live audience at the Charlotte Coliseum in North Carolina over the last two nights of the comedians' hugely popular Kings of Comedy tour, and it basically just shows Harvey, Hughley, Cedric, and Mac performing their on-stage comedy routines intercut with video footage showing them interacting in other spaces like backstage, on the road promoting the show, at their hotel, etc. Easy, easy and funny as hell!

OK, so why am I going on about it now? I'm sharing it because some of us feel that the time is ripe for a Jamaican version of both the film and the tour. Yeah, peeps! I think so. And some of my Jamaican comedian brethren dem think so too. Many of us agree that the idea is timely. How about you? What you think?

The idea of a local and international tour featuring top stand-up comedians from Jamaica is a prospect and a project that comes up for discussion almost every time a group of comedians get together. And it came up again recently, in a chat between Christopher 'Johnny' Daley, Lemon, Ity and Fancy Cat and myself. Well, this time, I'm taking the energy a bit further by putting it out bigger into the universe and inviting you into the conversation.




So, talk to mi. Yeah, you, send me a link and tell me what you think? You nuh feel wi coulda pull off a Jamaican Kings of Stand-up Comedy tour? Wi nuh coulda drop it all around the island, take it on a Caribbean tour, [including stops in Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago] and then hit North America, Europe and Africa? Why not? But first of all, we woulda haffi decide who would be in it, right? And in deciding that, we would need to clarify what aspect of comedy we are really showcasing and specify exactly what kind of show we are envisioning, don't it? Right? That's why I made a point of specifically putting the words 'stand-up' in front of the comedy in the proposed title. This would be a stand-up comedy show featuring stand-up comedians performing straight-up, stand-up comedy. Costumed skits or short funny plays performed by outstanding comic actors are great, but this would not be the genre showcased on this proposed tour!

So, for example, iconic comic actor and veteran theatre personality Oliver Samuels is unquestionably and irrefutably the reigning king of Jamaican comedy. Nobody can argue that. But, ask Oliver and he will tell you, he's not a stand-up comic and he does not do stand-up comedy. So, he wouldn't be on the tour - unless he's not in a play and we could convince him to host it. And, although they're undeniably hilarious and entertaining, this would not be a show for brilliant comic actors like Glen 'Titus' Campbell, Volier Johnson or Keith 'Shebada' Ramsey either. This would be a tour featuring the kings of Jamaican stand-up comedy. And it's going to happen.

Yeah, people. I'm already working on selling the show to some promoters overseas. But unuh a di boss, and I need your input now. So, join the convo. Tell me nuh. Who would you put on the line-up? Tell me man! Make a list. Put all the Jamaican stand-up comics in the mix, and then send me your choice for the top-a-di-top six! Call Chris Daley on his Johnny Live Morning Show and give him your selection or email me at box-mi-back@hotmail.com

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