The Importance Of Mentorship
The other night, I gave a series of jokes. That’s all it was: a series of jokes. They didn’t have anything to do with one another. And although I got a few laughs, I felt disappointed because I’ve always wanted to deliver two-five minute bits like all of the comedy greats have.
After the show, I started walking back to the subway with my friend and mentor Quinn C. Martin, and he said,
Yo, you ever think about talking about the black guy sunglasses theory joke after the dancehall bit?
And that was it. I think I have a new five to ten-minute set! It’s so important to have a mentor in comedy…well, in any field, really. They see what you can’t, because while you’re doing, they’re seeing, looking through experience-steeped eyes.
Studies have shown that we perform better on IQ tests when surrounded by nature as opposed to a classroom setting. Heck, even the guy who solved Fermat’s Last Theorem went on nature walks to help him prove the Taniyama-Shimura Conjecture. So, I thought I’d go for a walk to relax, meditate, and think about dancehall jokes (click here to jump to Gallery). I simply recorded ideas into my iPhone as they came to me.
King of the Dancehall
The other night, I’m leaving this club, and a promoter starts telling me about his event that’s, “…upscale, for the mature clientele….” He then handed me a glossy flyer with the word, ‘classy’ spelled wrong.
I’m looking at the flyer, and it said the event was being moved to a new luxurious venue…Steeles and Weston Road. There’s nothing fancy about Weston Road. Steeles was spelled, ‘S T E E L S.’ Now I don’t care if this is your first day in Canada, I think we can all agree that there’s never been anything luxurious held in an address containing a unit number. I threw the flyer away.
So I’m lining up to get in…what? I’m single. Did I mention that the event was being held to crown the 2012 Canadian Dancehall Queen? Why can’t I have a girl with the wickedest slam?
The first thing that I noticed was the logo. The emblem, for this, uh, professional league of, uh, athletes…OK, you know how you have logos for Major League Baseball, the National Basketball League? What do you think the logo looked like for the Dancehall Queen League, Northern Chapter?
You’ve guess it! Woman, balancing upside down on her head, with her legs spread.
Oh they had a trophy, too. Guess what the trophy looked like…You guessed it! Woman, balancing upside down on her head, with her legs spread.
One of the things I noticed is the female constestants’ hairstyle choices…hair style…hair type…whatever. Now, you know how Nike has special running shoes if you’re doing a marathon? Do you think afro beauty supply stores carry a line of performance-enhancing weaves that can withstand even the most duttiest of performances?
Because if not, Nike needs to get on that shit…imagine the commercial? Violins playing in the background…there’s a girl dripping with sweat as she balances on her head…two kids in the background starving their ass off……violins playing in the background…duba duba duba duba duba duba duba duba…sorry I know it sounds like the bourne identity song…duba duba duba bellyas…announcer comes on…Yuh pum pum shorts? Nice. Yuh frock? Freshly hironed. But yuh cah forget yuh I and Nike Weave. Just tell ah gyal fi galang! Cah we run tings, tings nuh run we.
They had dancers from all over Canada…Vancouver, Montreal…Markham & Sheppard, Neilson & Sheppard.
You know what though? I saw people genuinely having fun! A lot of people have forgotten how to have fun. They were dancing…well, it was a dance I found out was called, uh, Daggering. It’s a dance where you get behind a women, place your hands on her hips, and rhythmically assault her with your pelvis like she’s a piece of shit. It was quite nice.
I saw a lot of black guys with these DARK sunglasses on and was like, “Huh? What? Why do black guys insist on wearing sunglasses in a nightclub?”
And after a lot of research, I think I’ve figured it out. You see, the dark shades allow them to filter out the black women so they only see the white ones. They scan the club like terminator…black girl: negative…negative attitude…white girl positive…Target apprehended. Target Inseminated. Target Apprehended. Target Inseminated. Becky’s pregnant: Abort – Abort. She’s keeping it: Hastalavista, baby.
One piece of advice that I received from Jay Martin was that I needed to improve on my transitions from joke to joke, and he was right. Although I was writing two-minute bits, I was still haphazardly stringing them together.
With smooth transitions, I could make my seven minutes seem like one cohesive stream of consciousness. Essentially, that’s what I tried to do with the above scenario. The Dark Sunglasses and Glossy Flyer jokes were each written independently from the Dancehall Queen bit, but by structuring the joke in such a way that it seemed like a story, I think everything comes together smoothly.