Normally for comedy shows the people that come out to the shows are expecting just that, Comedy. With that expectation it prepares the audience for what they are about to see. They know they came to laugh, and are eager to do so. When comedians have to perform at non-comedy shows things can be a much harder sell. A few nights ago in Los Angeles; comedians KJ Lee, Aarona Lopez, and Kevin Tate were able to leave with a successful night despite having to perform for a would be tired out crowd after following a night of singers and poets.
So it’s May 3rd and a night of entertainment is approaching in the center of Hollywood at “The Study”. As the host, the only thing that’s running through my mind is how will I manage to keep this show running smoothly with so many different art forms being incorporated in one show? For those who aren’t familiar with “UnplugdLA” produced by Joel Green and Jasmine Sweets, it is a showcase type platform for poets, musicians, and COMEDIANS! As far as audience participation goes; with a poet if the crowd is feeling the poem all they have to do is snap, simple. If a singer is belting out a beautiful note from the soul, and the band is on point, the crowd is bound to feel it in their soul and probably yell out a “I hear you girl” or a “boy you betta sing!” But Comedy. Arguably the toughest art form in live entertainment, where the comedian has to make his or her perspective on life funny enough to pull laughter out of an audience… Was thrown in the middle of the night at UnplugdLA after the crowd has already been taken on an emotional rollercoaster with about 8 poets and few singers.
Now it’s time to laugh. Personally I already know the comedy is going to be on point, I’m just hoping the crowd is engaged enough to receive it.Ideally at a comedy show the host will open up with a 5-7 minute bit to set the mood. Clearly that wasn’t the case tonight with the previous poetic acts. Being familiar with these type of platforms I know if you throw too much at an audience you will lose them completely! So as intermission ends, I get on stage and do the one thing I know people love to see a chunky person do, I tell DJ Cypress Moreno to play some slappers and I start going in! I’m hitting them folks! I’m hitting my dougie! I’m hitting every dance move known to man to the best of my ability. The more I hype up these songs and dance around the stage, I see people laugh and become more engaged to what is happening on stage.
I left the energy level high. Hassani Cromwell set the stage with an amazing line up! First up was KJ Lee out of Houston. His energy was perfect and his comedy was witty. He immediately addressed the elephant in the room about comedy being tough in this type of element and the crowd loved it. He continued his set with a hilarious wheelchair porn joke that blew the roof off the place! Next up was Aarona Lopez out of Chicago previously seen on Wild N’ Out.
Immediately won the women over not even 2 minutes into her set with a hilarious bit about men cheating more than woman, sadly she was right. That propelled her to a successful night on stage! To close out the comedy portion we had the HILARIOUS Kevin Tate that I have personally seen on HBO’s All Def Comedy. He started his set with no shame explaining to the audience that he is openly jealous. His funny stories about his relationship and trust issues quickly got the crowd familiar with his comedy,But the climax of the show was his impersonation of a broken ceiling fan after explaining how women act like they don’t need a man, until a man comes to their house and notices that they actually need a man to fix some things! He kept going with the ceiling fan impersonation..at that moment I realized that the comedic element was in full effect! Kevin Tate’s set ended with a thunderous cheer and round of applause. The audience was nothin less than satisfied. After the comedians we had more music, the night was electric, and the people were entertained! To many comedians the mood wouldn’t have been right for comedy, but these particular comedians trusted their material and fearlessly killed that stage… That is what being a comedian is all about.