James Davis landed on Comedy Central with his own TV series two years ago thanks to Snapchat. His success on that social media video platform gave him the opportunity to star in Hood Adjacent.
For his next act, Davis went to Oakland to film his first hour special, Live From the Town.
He gets his first laughs jokingly comparing his live audience to social media profile pictures, and segues into a bit about how much Facebook has changed in the past 15 years. There’s a vast difference, he explains, between “wall talk” and the messages reserved for direct messaging. “That’s why it’s in a box.”
Comedians may have encountered difficulty joking about Barack Obama when he was president. But now that he’s gone, missing Obama gives stand-ups plenty of opportunities to bust out their best Barack impersonations. Here’s Davis on wondering what Obama should do now. Roll the clip.
Part of the joy in Hood Adjacent was watching Davis clash the cultures in which he straddled. After an episode on golf, it turns out the comedian fully enjoys it now, and jokes about wanting to be the Iverson of the PGA, or if not that, the second coming of Chi Chi Rodriguez.
Davis films this hour more like a typical night out than as a special, with plenty of crowd work and audience interaction. From the woman in the balcony who offers to take him at his word, to a man in the front row who gets the comedian’s attention and ire by not responding the way he’d like to a joke. He even uses that latter interaction to call his own cut to a commercial break!
You may or may not agree with Davis’s take on #MeToo and one particular perversion among men, nor may you buy into his conspiracy theory about Magic Johnson.
But you likely will be inspired by the alternatives Davis has chosen to rioting to express his displeasure with racism.