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The Daily Nightly

Cenac and Wilmore bring pieces of their show's sensibility to the Comix showroom.

Pictured: Wyatt Cenac and Larry Wilmore.

In weekend headline performances, Daily Show correspondents Wyatt Cenac and Larry Wilmore brought their show’s smart approach to comedy to the showroom at Comix.

Seen in their early show Aug. 22, Wilmore, who has authored one of the best comedy books seen recently, “I’d Rather We Got Casinos” (reviewed, 3/7/09) brought a lot of the satirical approach of the material in his book to the stage, drawing on current events.

“Can you call L.A. and tell them to put Michael Jackson in the ground already?” he asked the audience, as his opening line. Wilmore also looked back on last year’s presidential election, marveling that Obama got elected, musing that his name is, well, “very black. … And America said [adopting Scooby Doo voice], Barack Hussein Obama. R-okay. R-we’ll vote for you.”

On gay marriage, Wilmore had this to say, “I understand lesbians wanting to get married, because women like weddings. I don’t understand gay men though. Straight guys would love to have marriage be illegal. ‘I love you honey … but it’s against the law! I can’t be a criminal!’”

Also, more universally, and in the same style and tone as his book, Wilmore opined that Jesus was clearly black for at least 10 reasons, including “immediately on his birth, there were questions as to who the baby daddy was … and like Tupac, even after he died, new material kept coming out.”

Wilmore, and later Cenac, had to contend with one strange party in the audience consisting of a middle aged lady who seemed like somebody’s crazy aunt, a guy with a handlebar mustache, and a younger guy dressed in a hooded sweatshirt and glasses, looking very much like the Unabomber, as opening act Adam Lowitt had quickly dubbed him. Wilmore seemed to have fun shutting them down though, noting, “you wouldn’t think with this group I’d have more trouble with the lady [who was talking most].”

Wilmore preceded Cenac on stage, although he had more straightforward and bold material and the more confident stage presence. Cenac (previously reviewed as part of a 92Y Tribeca bill, 1/20/09) has more cerebral material, some of which was the same as in his January show, and some of which was new. He alternates brief little Mitch Hedberg-style asides with longer “shaggy dog” type stories, such as one about being encouraged by a homeless man to date a woman he helped with her bags outside a supermarket.

“If [the relationship] progressed, I would always be thinking of Toothless Pete,” said Cenac, imagining a variety of ways this could happen. Relatively new to New York and the Daily Show, Cenac told another story of shopping in Bed Bath & Beyond, and being pegged as a divorced dad for his appearance and the nature of most shoppers there being couples. “Another guy came up to me and said, ‘Don’t worry, it gets better.’”

Together, Wilmore and Cenac made for a solid show by two very smart, inventive performers, whose material is both topical and personal, and therefore very entertaining. 



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