At the end of the show, Hart called Chapelle and Rock to rejoin him onstage. Dave let us know he wasn’t expecting it as he’d been backstage indulging. As he does on his podcast Comedy Gold Minds, Kevin said he likes to give people their flowers while they’re still here, so he presented Chris Rock with a goat. A goat for a G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time). He called both men friends, mentors, and brothers. Dave shared that decades before he had opened for Chris Rock, and the two clowned Rock for being “old as shit.” The poor goat didn’t know what was going on and proceeded to defecate all over the stage. Dave lives on a farm, so he grabbed the leash and petted it and attempted to put it at ease. Jokes were made that the goat would soon be curried at a Jamaican restaurant. When Dave asked Chris what he’d name the goat Kevin said its name was Will Smith.
After being away from the Apollo for over a year, I found myself returning two consecutive weeks. Last week, November 12, I attended my second Smart, Funny and Black show created and hosted by Amanda Seales. This week was the taping of the 2021 BET Soul Train Awards. Check-in/holding rooms for what as far as I could tell was an all-Black audience was at the Magic Johnson theater on 124th St. The actual show was taped a short jaunt on 125th St. at the legendary Apollo. Recap: Harlem, Magic Johnson Theater, black audience, BET, Soul Train Awards, Apollo Theater. Blackity Black Black event.
Smart, Funny, and Black returned to the Apollo as part of the weeklong New York Comedy Festival. Last night’s Blacksperts were the hilarious Tituss Burgess (he can sang!) and Michelle Buteau. They both came onstage decked out in yellow. They said it was unplanned. Amanda Seales was backed by her band, The Clapbacks.
Merry Wives is based on Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, which I never had to read for school (or heard of). The usual syllabus suspects in high school and college were Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, The Tempest, Twelfth Night…but I digress. The remixed adaptation by Jocelyn Bioh centers around Nigerian (the Fords) and Ghanaian (the Pages) immigrant families living in Harlem, trying to agree on marriage terms for their daughter and nephew. The supporting cast involves a Senegalese doctor, and the sole American character Falstaff, a native Harlemite. There’s a twist that the audience, but not the families, are privy to.