The walls rattled with laughter recently as NJPAC welcomed two hysterical comedians, one kicking off his first long-awaited comedy tour and the other, retiring after a long career with a comedy tour.
On Feb. 27, it was regular “Saturday Night Live” cast member Chris Redd. He’s not only a comedian but he is also an actor and writer. Redd recently won an Emmy for his work on SNL for the song he co-wrote “Come Back Barack,” a great sketch.
“Why Am I Like This” is the name of the tour and since this was his kickoff date, we were somewhat guinea pigs for what is to come for the remaining tour, and no one seemed to mind being a specimen.
On SNL, Redd plays a lot of thugs, and in his set, he mentions how he always wanted to be one, yet he didn’t come from the hood.
Yet, he can turn hood on a dime and the laughter ensues on how he tried and tried to fit in and having two parents, where most only had single parents, was a setback in trying to joining gangs. It was almost a competition.
His Uncle Trey, who was a crack addict, plays an important hilarious role with Redd trying to gain his props. Growing up, he never knew Trey was on drugs, they just thought he was funny. But when they realized that that’s what was actually going on, it was priceless.
Trey has been in Redd’s routine for some time, but as of this show, Trey was in jail. It was timeless material and exceptionally funny.
Redd’s improv talents came into play as he included the audience in his performance and played off them, and it worked perfectly. He mentioned “SNL” wasn’t always his dream job. His dream was to do stand up.
I’ve noticed he has been garnering a lot of airtime as of late on “SNL” and it is well deserved, indeed. If you need a good laugh, you will get many with this show, as it’s balanced with color and making real life situations funny.
If you want in, go to www.iamchrisredd.com.
If Redd’s tour isn’t funny enough for, you which I highly doubt, you can always catch the comedy tour of Ron White, aka “Tater Salad” for his “Catch the Tater” tour. On March 5, NJPAC also hosted the hilarity and unpredictable comedian.
Most would say he’s known for raunchy and R-rated material. I didn’t notice that and neither did a packed house who were holding their stomachs from side splitting laugher. Also known for drinking scotch and smoking cigars during his stand up, he now drinks Tequila — his own brand “Number Juan Tequila.” Of course, he is also well known for his work with the Blue-Collar Tour of Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy, his albums and books.
White seemed thrilled to be out on the road performing again after the pandemic. His hair is now white, and long, was pulled back into a ponytail and he said he became Moses during the pandemic lockdown. When he untied his pony, he truly look like one might expect Moses to look like, especially with the one single light shining brightly above him. It was great.
Since his comedy is somewhat R rated, I can’t share much of his routine with you. It is something you must experience yourself in person, but I did love how he would mention something early on and then bring it all back in the end to tie the entire routine up into a nice little neat bow.
There is no hiding he has been doing this a long time, roughly 40 years or more, and it clearly shows, as he makes a flub funny or even a technical issue. I am so glad I got to see him perform live because he sadly announced to a disappointed audience this would be his last tour and he would be happily retiring with his wonderful lady Morgan.
White is an acquired taste, but a taste we all need a little bit more laughter these days.
Go and check out his next tour dates and have a great time www.ronwhitetour.com or wherever you purchase your event tickets.
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JoAnn Barton | Special to The Observer
Jo-Ann Barton is a singer/songwriter and musician for the past 25+ years who contributes entertainment-related stories to The Observer. Her last CD, 'POP and CIRCUMSTANCES,' spawned a number one hit song at college radio stations throughout the United States, including Hawaii, in 2001. She is the host of the Applause Radio Show, a platform JoAnn brings to an ever-growing audience tuning into listen to their favorite celebrities.