Comic Michael Che, better known as “Uncle Grumpy”, shared his comedic talents with the Warner Theatre in Washington D.C. on Thursday, June 28 as part of his latest stand up tour. Che, best known for his work on Saturday Night Live, in particular his weekend update skits, graced the stage like a seasoned pro.
One of the first highlights of the night, was Che’s decision to have a phone-free show, which meant all in attendance had to secure their phones in bags until the end. I respected the decision, as in recent years, I’ve felt that the internet has ruined part of what makes comedy great. A lot of times, when I go to see a comedy show, I already know what jokes to expect, as a total stranger has already shared them on the internet. It was very refreshing to see couples engaged in conversation, as well as complete strangers.
Opening the show for Che was DJ Cipha Sounds, who is also an aspiring comic. Initially, Cipha began the show with hip-hop tracks, until he realized the crowd was very diverse, and he switched the sounds to modern rock. It was a hilarious moment that worked even better when Cipha pointed out who the rock artists were, as some of those in the audience there may not be aware. Cipha also told a story of a time during his A&R days, he had a chance to sign Drake and passed. I was literally in tears as Cipha broke down, with a fluid narrative, how he didn’t know a child star from Canada would become one of the biggest things in modern music.
When Che appeared on stage as the headliner, he seemed very relaxed. Some comics styles tend to not go over well in big venues; however, Che’s dry wit style was right at home in the Warner. Che comes off as someone who knows that sometimes the world needs laughter and no matter what, laughter can be the best medicine. Naturally, Che spoke about our current President, and while there weren’t profane insults taken towards Trump, what Che had to say is how I view things with the current administration.
My major complaint with the show was how the jokes came across as written and memorized. Granted Che is one of the writers for Saturday Night Live, so this wasn’t surprising; however, I was hoping for a little bit of an improv, which never happened.
Despite the lack of improv, it was a fun night out, and I can understand why Che was named one of Rolling Stone’s 50 Funniest People in 2013. During a current time in the world where I can’t turn on the News without seeing something tragic, it’s refreshing to have a little laughter.
Final Grade: B