Published Jul 08, 2016At one point during Deon Cole's masterful new special, he lists off several musical legends we've lost in 2016. He mentions Maurice White, David Bowie, and Natalie Cole and the joke is that they've left us before Cole got a chance to see them play live.
"That's why we gotta look out for Prince," he says to applause. "That's right, don't let nothing happen to Prince. I want to see Prince get old. I want to see Prince in a cardigan and some flats."
The image gets a huge laugh, but it's really startling to hear Cole make this comical plea given that Prince too, is now gone. But it gives the record, which bends time here and there, nursing nostalgia, a not-too-distant topicality, as well.
Cole once wrote for Conan and his on-screen appearances made him beloved. He has charisma, cleverness, and attitude and they're on full display here, at a show taped in Washington DC. When he talks about the city's "thick-ass women" and goes on about how he has learned to "manage my blackness" around white people, there's only a certain segment of the population who really knows where he's coming from. And again, in light of recent, horrific cases of U.S. police shooting unarmed African-American men, the material has a certain poignancy. It's so out-of-hand funny but it's also getting harder to laugh.
Cole is so matter of fact about such tribulations and so silly a storyteller ("I Don't Get Jokes" is funnier than it really should be), this whole seminar goes by quickly though. It's an effective, informative, and tear-inducing session from a guy who makes it seem so easy. Prince would be proud. (Comedy Central)