New Negroes Just For Laughs, Montreal QC, July 27
Kevin Hart, Baron Vaughn, Open Mike Eagle, Gina Yashere, Roy Wood Jr., Brandon Ash-Mohammed, Zainab Johnson and Chris Redd offered different perspectives
Published Jul 29, 2018Hosted by Baron Vaughn (pictured) and Open Mike Eagle, this standup show featuring mesmerizing interludes of rap is based on the term "New Negro," from the Harlem Renaissance. By dismantling stereotypes with a lineup of black artists who couldn't be more different, New Negros is a uniquely funny testament to the beauty of increasingly diverse and nuanced representation.
After Vaughn and his rapping cohost gave an amusing rundown of all the different terms that black people have identified with over the last century, British comic Gina Yashere took the stage and talked about being the gay daughter of a Nigerian woman. Her anecdotes about how white people assume she doesn't belong in first class, and the time that her girlfriend studied up on Nigerian culture to impress her mum, were both highly original and entertaining. Additionally, Yashere got a big laugh by spontaneously announcing that she's a lesbian in an over-the-top spooky voice.
After Yashere, Roy Wood Jr. then covered the political side of being black, while Brandon Ash-Mohammed went into what it's like to be ethnically ambiguous. Roy Wood Jr. was casually clever with his joke about how black people will call you out if you try to leave a protest, as was Brandon Ash-Mohammed in his story about an inconsistently racist man.
Suddenly Baron Vaughn made an announcement that there was a last minute special guest, and Kevin Hart came on stage from the back of the audience. Representing the experience of the black elite and the perspective of a family man, Hart was relatable and uncharacteristically chill in his delivery of his unfinished but charismatically entertaining material. His musings about planning a family were average, but his story about stupidly building a brick pizza oven in his home solely because Jerry Seinfeld told him to was more up to his usual high standard.
The last two comics of the night were Zainab Johnson and Chris Redd. Johnson was quietly amusing as she talked about how people assume that she's woke, then Redd gave the show the strong close that it deserved by doing a tight set that somehow involved racist neighbourhoods and Mormon anal sex in the same breath.