In the new show Laughing Liberally, liberal comedians poke fun at the Republican Party and whatever else is on their minds. In between sets, we see comedy videos similar in style to Saturday Night Live’s digital shorts. The show features a rotating company and is organized by Living Liberally, a progressive organization.
The night I attended, the comics were Scott Blakeman, Jamie Kilstein, Elon James White, Jamie Jackson, Katie Halper and Jim David. David was the evening’s last performer, and it is easy to see why he was given that coveted position. A veteran comedian and Huffington Post blogger, David left the audience in stitches with his dry, edgy humor. He tackled everything from airline reservations, to the LIRR, to the controversial Muslim community center that will open near the former World Trade Center. Naturally, being a gay comedian, he also took aim at the same-sex marriage debate, claiming that the legality of his own marriage was so complicated that he needed a PowerPoint presentation just to explain it.
African-American comic Elon James White was another joy to behold. His humor focused on the challenges of growing up in Bed-Stuy, and having a religious mother who talked “like a combination of the BBC News and The Cosby Show.” His memories of being a nurse’s aide to a racist white man were particularly hysterical. (Let’s just say the phrase “revenge enema” was used and leave it at that.)
Jamie Kilstein was good as well. He is a young, hipstery dude obviously influenced by Dennis Miller’s famous ranting style. Kilstein’s comedy revolved largely around how his veganism is negatively perceived in the liberal community.
The other three comics were hit or miss — though they all
had their funny moments. The nice thing about a show like this is you get a
little variety, so there’s something for everyone. Overall, Laughing
Liberally is simply a great night at the
theater, and you don’t have to be a news junkie to enjoy it.
Featuring talent from The Onion, Comedy Central, Showtime, Axis of Evil, MTV, Huffington Post, and C-SPAN; Original songs by Jamie Jackson and SoHee Young; Directed by Justin Krebs; Midtown Theatre, 163 West 46th Street. www.laughingliberally.com