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Comedy Cook-up Anniversary Show Bubbles With Laughter
The Christmas Comedy Cookup served up a hilarious stew for its 10th anniversary of stirring the comedic pot, making it Jamaica's longest running stand-up comedy show. The Red Carpet Edition, held at the Jamaica Pegasus on Boxing Day, December 26, 2013, featured a talented roster of comedians from Jamaica, the US via Haiti, and Trinidad and Tobago and further spiced with three comedic hosts Elva, Boasy Boy Floyd and Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis.
Dufton Shepherd provided a strong opening as unleashed his wit on women in high heels and old school beatings and buss ass - those epic moments when each fall of the belt was preceded by a syllable from the admonishment. But soon his time was up. Yet he had been funny enough to be granted a reprieve and given an additional five minutes for which he kept the laughter rolling.
The show took a few steps backward with the next act as Apache Kid and Sarge came to the stage. The two were at best, occasionally mildly funny, but were easily one of the most forgettable moments of the night. Fortunately they were soon eclipsed by the musical satire of Rozah Roze. Rozah Roze came armed with his musical parodies of love songs which he twisted to discuss the powers of stew peas, masturbation, and economics. He the audience singing along to the lyrics "It’s too much fi a pound a rice," his rendition of One Republic’s ‘Apologize’ as well as his treatise to bleaching via the Jackson 5’s ‘I’ll Be There’. The audience quickly became his back-up singers shouting "Where there is black rub it there.
Next to the microphone, was Leighton Smith, the second alum of the comedy Buss series to take the stage for the night. Smith’s semi-dry humour was a marked departure, but also filled with several hilarious moments. He poked fun at politics, education and soon hop-scotched across numerous topics not caring for any segues. But he was funny so it didn't matter.
Rohan Gunter followed him to the stage. Gunter, who is Jamaican but currently lives in Florida, opened with talk of Tessanne then moved to changes in Jamaican society since he had left the island. One of these changes was that prison had now become the DJ’s university.
"See Zebra gaawn do him masters and Vybz Kartel a wait pon results," Gunter told the amused audience.
The night’s first female comedian Kathy Grant then took over the stage with a set that threatened to destroy the room with the decibels of laughter she generated. She had claimed that she though she dressed proper to suit the occasion she wasn't sure her match her attire and less than two sentences in she proved it wasn't. Grant was irreverent and hilarious talking about myriad topics from how black people spend their money to vaginas and even ni nights.
The night’s next comedian, Lemon, came to the stage to only a smattering of applause. However, his comedic flavour soon won the audience over. He too delved into male/female relations and dancehall, using the bible according to Dancehall to depart on a high note.
The spoofing of Dancehall music and artists would continue to rage as Donald ‘Iceman’ Anderson took over the microphone. Arguing that many seemed to see DJs as off limits he poked fun at their stylistic idiosyncrasies. He mocked Mavado for constantly sounding half asleep and High Octane for sounding constipated. He marvelled at Capleton’s skill of sing anything on a rhythm and get away with it, and questioned why Richie Spice could not articulate.
When he was done with the DJs he turned the Mandela funeral poking fun at the infamous fake interpreter and Obama’s selfie, or rather a ghettoized rendition of Michelle Obama’s reaction. It also seemed to be a night when comedians were showing their musical skills as he ended with a dancehall medley.
Christopher ‘Johnny’ Daley then took the stage, armed with swag and buckets of humour. He thanked Shaggy, who was in the audience for the advice to Tessanne whom he noted was a shining light for a Christmas devoid of the usual pepper lights due to the economic squeeze.
"She bring so much pride to we inna di christmas, cause is a bruk Christmas," Daley said. Daley noted however, that Shaggy should have warned Tessanne about the charms of her coach Adam Levine. His solution was the addition of a ghetto advisor who delivered hilarious but questionable advice as she declared,
“Adam money tun up a wha do you?”
The night was rounding toward its close and it came Haitian-American Will Sylvince who delved into the hassles of travel and the wonder of traveling on first class. He then poked fun at Haitians and Haitian-Americans before taking his wit to Jamaicans, and ultimately the beatings dished out by Caribbean parents. He then he landed on sex where he stayed for a while.
Ity and Fancy Cat were the night’s penultimate performers and they delivered a strong set. The tackled Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and her frequent flights from the island, then the praised the exploits of SSP Lewis and finally turned their attentions to the lies slung by love songs.
Finally, it was time to bring the show to a close and that fell to the night’s second female comedian, Trinidadian Rachel Price.
"If I offend you, I Rachel Price don't care," she declared in her opening. She tackled the current rift between ja and trinidad but said that the politics don't speak to the what's happening on the ground.
"Don't blame Trinidad for a government we tryin to get rid of," she told the audience, arguing that she would gladly exchange our Prime Minister for theirs.
Price’s largely raw and raunchy set delved into sex, the problems between the sexes, Caribbean unity and Shaggy, whom she tried to entice to the stage, but to no avail. Her set ran a little too long and the humour had petered out toward the end. Nonetheless it was a strong close to a good night of comedy.