Courtleigh chock-full of laughter
LIME Comedy Café is on the move. Its first stop away from its accustomed South Beach Café base was the Courtleigh Auditorium, New Kingston, last Wednesday. Organisers Ellis International chose the venue because "it's a nice place for comedy, with its nice theatre style".
Venue change notwithstanding, the fair-sized audience was there to be treated to bowls full of laughter; instead, they were served a large St Elizabeth food basket, overflowing with wit and hilarity.
The show's familiar format was preserved. MCs Ity and Fancy Cat got things going on time, prodding and tickling the funny bone with a steady dose of slapstick on topical issues like the resurfacing of roads for US President Barack Obama's recent visit. "Where did they put the homeless?" they asked, still on the subject of Obama's visit. "Why didn't they keep them there?"
The audience responded with laughter.
With the mood established, Tony 'Paleface' Hendriks, Leighton Smith and Maliaka were brought to the stage in turn, Ity ushering on each with a brief bio.
Canada-born Maliaka was first, managing to hold the audience's attention throughout her performance. The comedian had the house laughing most of the time with her comparisons of Canadian and Jamaican security. She closed with a colourful tale of being robbed by a taxi driver and Jamaicans' response to her dilemma.
Without doubt, the evening belonged to Smith, whose topics included politics, lawyers, funeral services, and his school days; the jokes cleverly told as he wore a deadpan expression. Bam Bam was played as he came to the stage, and he began his onslaught of jokes with the stolen road sign bearing former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson's name. As no one witnessed the sign being removed, the witty Smith said it should be a sign to government that no one travels on the road.
Still on politics, Smith observed "a move she [Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller] made on Mr Andrew Holness. She carry down Mr Obama, lick out Mr Andrew, and him have to goh tek Magnum for it."
The astute comedian also observed that in school, incorrect answers are marked "with a big 'X'". However, during voting, an x is put beside the name of the person "who you want to represent you, and it is the person who gets the most 'X' that becomes the Prime Minister".
As he worked his way towards closing the show's first half, the St Elizabeth-born Smith had the audience in stitches with a comparison between rich and poor people's approach to the loss of a loved one. After more jokes of the same ilk, Smith made his exit to resounding applause.
opened with song
Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley's Welcome to Jamrock was played as Hendriks, who lived in England for over a decade, made his way to the stage. When the song stopped, Hendriks, who was carrying a guitar, said, "There is a little song I wrote when I was away". He sang the humorous song, which begins: "Jamaica is a nation that we are all proud to come from." Then he asked the audience, "Nuh true?" and got the expected 'yes'. His following "but as soon as we get a visa, we ready to leave" produced jollity.
The palefaced one continued his humour with events like the Olympics held in London and showed off his 'Made in Jamaica' tattoo. With each topic, the amusement grew, especially when Hendriks tackled sexual harassment - or, as he labelled it, "certain animal instinct".
"Men and women are like puss and dog in their behaviour," he asserted, before reeling out a hilarious list of similarities between man and the feline.The returning Jamaican thespian closed his act as he began, with a song.
Oral Tracey, a comedian in his own right, was in attendance, "I think it [the show] was good. It was a little different, with the [Silverbirds] steel band. That adds a touch of class to it. The venue change, I think, was a little different as well, from what we are use to. The audience was a little different as well. But I think overall it was a good show. Maybe the venue could have been full."
Tracey was happy to see Paleface again and said Smith was "the bomb".
LIME Comedy CafÈ will be going on an islandwide tour, with Island Village in Ocho Rios being considered for the next stop. "We want to go to some places that people do not normally go to, like Mocho in Clarendon. You have some people in Mocho who want the show, so we are going to Lennon High School," Ian 'Ity' Ellis told The Gleaner.
And Carlo Redwood, vice-president, marketing at LIME, said his company came on board because they believed that comedy is underdeveloped in the country, it is truly Jamaican and there is demand for it. In addition, comedy is being used in a lot of LIME's brand messages.