The CD, Wyatt Cenac: Comedy Person, begins with a bit of a bait-and-switch, as it’s not Cenac, but rather Daily Show colleague John Hodgman who is talking to the audience throughout the first introductory track.
When Cenac does arrive onstage, he helps Hodgman out by explaining that his first bit, about Spider-Man, isn’t what he thought it was, and that he wants to write his own comic book — which, incidentally, he recently just did (since the recording, and the release of it by Comedy Central in August). Cenac immediately takes charge in a meta way, to let the live audience know that he’s here for the audience at home, talking to a camera on the side of the stage (which of course plays better on the DVD). Which leads into his bit about TV being a great roommate. And his amazement at people who say they don’t watch TV, or that they hate TV. Not that books are better, are they, if they’re crap books! And his hot neighbor who hates TV, and yet…people don’t know what TVs are anymore. Seriously. Everything is heading to the Internet. Everything. Anyhow.
Wyatt Cenac may think of himself as a “comedy person,” but he’s also a racial person and a political person, judging by his choices of material.
But it comes from a variety of interesting places: YouTube videos of cats; “snaps” competitions at his high-school (as well as at his reunion); terms such as “oreo” and “dreamcatcher.” Even attending the Westminster Dog Show turns racial and political, as he sees KKK members handing out pamphlets outside, and how to handle oneself in that situation. Cenac jokes: “I think I just made a racist.” Although he has more to say about PETA than he does about the KKK, because animal rights and civil human rights are not equal. Roll the clip.
Any comic who talks about politics and/or race is going to have something to say about Tea Party rallies. Cenac has a way of explaining how the angry old people in the “Tea Party” became so angry, such that you think, you know, he might be onto something as much, if not more about us younger non-Tea Party types as it is about them. After a predictable take on Obama posters with Hitler mustaches, Cenac segues to Michael Jordan’s recent Hanes ads, and his take on that — “The only conclusion I can have is that Michael Jordan has no real friends.” — leads to some well-played tags and callbacks.
His other racial/political material is not heavy-handed in the slightest, but playful, whether it’s making the case for why Martin Luther King Day should be more like St. Patrick’s Day, how his married friends set him up on dates with the only other black person they know, or how a super-high maintenance Jewish girl and her use of the word JAP got him to thinking about other racial slurs.
On the DVD, you’ll also be able to see how his friend’s birthday party at Medieval Times was a ridiculous idea, as it has been animated. Actually, you can watch that right now if you’d like.
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