If you ask any of my friends, they’ll tell you that I am VERY picky when it comes to comedy. A lot of stand-up comedy to me may be “witty” but that doesn’t mean it’s hilarious. You might hear me chuckle which could easily be mistaken for a cough but you will rarely hear me belly laugh or slap my knee. Now when it comes to West Indian comedy then I really can’t control myself. It must be the stubborn Jamaican in me. Just slap a string of patois in anything and I will “dead did with laugh”.
So normally, when an American comic headlines a more predominantly West Indian show, you may just hear more chuckles through their set rather than laughter. That’s just me. However, such was not the case during the first ever Soul Food Comedy Festival at Toronto’s The Queen Elizabeth Theatre earlier this month. The bold and sassy, Arkansas born, Luenell headlined a great line up that also starred Jay Martin and Trixx. This was Luenell’s Toronto stop for her Easily Annoyed Comedy Tour.
Trixx was amazing and on point from start to finish. I have no idea how it feels to be a little school girl but I know I was definitely uncontrollably giggling like one through his entire set. He was that priceless. In fact I actually heard a gentleman during intermission say that Trixx “takes you on a journey that you don’t want to get off of”. And that he did. From stories about the fear of bombing on stage in a Jamaican comedy club to the relentless jabbing of each and every person who arrived late trying to find their seat – Trixx alone was worth the money.
It’s been a while since I have seen Jay Martin and nothing has changed. He is still a solid natural storyteller that can brilliantly connect and convert his Jamaican heritage into the funniest of moments. But what was special was his sharing of a recent health scare and how God, family and friends helped him through it. Then there was the way he jokingly described a catheter finding its way three inches deep…. I think that’s when I wanted to leave and get my intermission started early lol.
Then there was Luenell. She casually emerged stage right and strutted over to her comfy seat in the middle of the stage to the applause of the crowd. Proudly bodacious and unapologetic, Luenell was the real deal. What resonated the most was her story on how black people treat their pets a lot differently than white people. That little school girl came out again on that one. Every word she said was so true. Please try to find one black person who spent thousands of dollars to keep their pet alive…….go ahead Leunell is waiting 😉
For more on Leunell, check out her interview with The Mob’s Press as she talks about coming back to Canada and her new production company L. Murder.
The Soul Food Comedy Festival is a three day event featuring various comedians and artists, don’t hesitate to pull the trigger and get your tickets next year!