Being downtown at parties or bars on a Saturday night is a routine for some Binghamton University students, but this Saturday, students can shake it up by going to a comedy show instead.
The “Black on Black Comedy Show III” will take place at 9 p.m. on Feb. 2 at Spotlight in Downtown Binghamton. Featuring solely African American comedians from the Northeast, the third edition of this show gives students a chance to do something indoors in this frigid weather. Comedians set to perform include Taury Seward, Charisma “Ris” Wyse, Mike Terry and MrJaxn.
Mike Peters, a comedian and Endicott community member who produced the show, said that the idea for the show was suggested by Seward, a comedian and Binghamton member who assembled the comedians on the bill.
“We wanted to make a show where we can feature some of our favorite black comedians from Syracuse, Ithaca, Rochester, Scranton and the Binghamton area,” Peters said. “This is the third one we’re doing, and it’s just a way to give more people more stage time and the audience a different group of performers. We are really fortunate that the talent around the area, especially for comedy, is so rich.”
Seward said that he pitched the show because, throughout his comedic career, he has done many shows where he was the only African American in the room. He hopes the exposure would be helpful in our current political climate.
“Telling jokes and funny stories [that] other people relate to might give them a better idea of my race and show that we have a lot in common, more than we don’t,” Seward said. “Any form of good comedy is significant in these times when we have a world filled with anger and lacks empathy.”
The show will be hosted by Wyse, a comedian who has been active in the Binghamton area for years and has previously been a radio personality with WJOB 93.3 FM. The audience should expect a wide array of topics to be discussed at the show, as each comedian is free to perform any material they want. MrJaxn, for example, will talk about being single and make observational humor while Terry will draw on his time as a security guard.
MrJaxn said that this show is important because it gives African Americans a chance to express themselves freely.
“Most of the comedy clubs out there won’t allow us to be so open about certain topics or jokes we say, so a comedy show exclusively for African American comedians is very important at this time because of the lack of stage time available elsewhere,” MrJaxn said. “Sometimes comedy clubs will look at the color of your skin and just assume you’ll have ‘urban’ material and won’t book you.”
Peters said that people of all walks are encouraged to attend the event and enjoy a night of laughs and fun.
“We’re just trying to put out the top comedic quality we can get, and we hope the audience comes out and has fun,” Peters said. “Ultimately, we want everybody who comes to enjoy themselves and hopefully come back.”