Ron Funches is the host for the evening and is best known as Shelly on NBC’s Undateable. Ron introduces the night as comedy by performers with diversity. “Don’t worry,” he says. “If you want to see white people, just look at the person to your left or your right!” He proceeds to tell a story about getting into a fight at a marijuana dispensary in Toronto, the last place you would expect to see any violence. A customer walks in to the store and says a racist comment to the clerk. Ron steps in and gets punched in the mouth. Then he says, “try that again.” The customer punches him again in the mouth and then leaves. “The moral of the story,” Funches says, “is that if you are a racist in a Toronto pot store, you can punch me twice in the face!” The audience laughs along with him as he giggles. “You guys like my laugh? You must be surprised to see a large black man laugh like a young Asian girl!”
Later in the night, the Chicago Bob Curry Fellows take the stage. The members of this group attended an eight week professional master program for actors of color. It is a unique, one of kind training program for exceptional talent seeking a career in sketch comedy, writing, and acting. They go on to improvise a scene involving two gardeners. One of them is complaining about how little he is paid, while the other, played by TJ Medel, agrees. He says he is only earning $8.50 per hour. Medel slowly says, “Ya, me too,” while turning away showing surprise at how little his coworker is being paid. Cut to another scene where a female asks “When are you going to leave your wife?!” Medel’s response, “any day now,” is said while he again slowly turns away indicating a lack of truthfulness. The skit builds and builds on this lying character with hilarious results.
These were just two of the great acts on this night of comedy. It was a fantastic start to the new Break Out Comedy Festival and another excellent showcase of what Second City and Up Comedy Club have to offer.