It’s still early into 2018, but it might be safe to say that one of the funniest comedy shows to come through St. Louis this year took place in a Northside church.
Bishop Antwain Jackson and his Equation Church hosted the St. Louis leg of the Real Comedians of Social Media tour starring Kev On Stage, Tony Baker and East St. Louis’ own Tahir Moore. Moore served as host and rising comic Cris Sosa opened the show.
What differentiated “The Real Comedians of Social Media” from the typical urban comedy tour is that there was no profanity or sexual content. Since the dawn of the Def Comedy Jam era, it may be hard to imagine an entire roster of comedians of color where booty was the most salacious word used – but it happened, and it was glorious.
The cadre of funnymen had the sanctuary shaking with laughter with their spin on everyday situations and experiences. The 400-plus seat church was as at capacity for the show. Chairs had to be brought from the basement to make room for the sold-out crowd.
Moore, who was a regular on the local scene before moving to Los Angeles to pursue comedy on a national scale, opened the show with hilarious bits about his weight struggles and his relationship with food.
“I didn’t even know I was fat until I moved to L.A. – all this time thought I was just solid,” Moore said. “I’m in a strange position with my weight. I can either work hard and lose 45 pounds, or just gain 95 pounds and get the surgery. That 45 pounds is fighting me with all of its might.”
Moore has grown immeasurably in his years away. He’s a part of the popular All Def Digital comedy cohort. Each of the “Real Comedians of Social Media” performers are affiliated with the group that garners millions of views through their online shenanigans – particularly the “Dad Jokes” segment that pairs comedians against each other to elicit laughter from their competitor through a series of corny jokes.
He’s found his comedy rhythm. He also showcased his ability to think on his feet when he quipped on the routines of his co-stars.
“If I gave myself a wedgie, those jeans would be up there for days,” Moore said as he piled on Sosa’s joke about his Puerto Rican-Dominican father teaching him how to Salsa by giving himself a wedgie and using his hips to release the jeans.
Tony Baker, known for his voice overs of animal videos, was best in show – but Moore and headliner Kev On Stage weren’t far behind. Baker took the crowd through the hidden funny that comes common occurrences, such as airplane travel and eating cereal.
“Is it petty of me that if I get the window seat, I feel like you don’t have the right to look out of my window?” Baker asked the crowd. He also talked about the “pettiness” of fellow passengers that don’t wake him up when the snack cart comes his way.
Headliner Kev On Stage proved that he’s more than simply a social media sensation by having a well-polished and natural routine that poked fun at everything from his religious, impoverished upbringing to his relationship with his wife.
“We don’t have problems like ‘oh, I’m gonna cheat on you,’ because I don’t have an ‘I’m gonna cheat on you kind of body,” Kev said. “I have the kind of body that if I’m with another woman and I take my clothes off, she will tell me to go back to my wife. She’ll say, ‘You wife clearly loves you. You don’t want to mess that up because of me.’”
He then jumped into the crowd pretending to be a fiery pastor who turned popular Disney films into sermons.
“The hyenas aren’t trying to kill you for who you are, Simba, they are trying to kill you because they know who you are destined to be,” Kev maneuvered through the church poking fun as a person of faith who pretends to have the gift of prophecy and healing.
“Take your glasses off,” Kev instructed an unsuspecting audience member. “Things are blurry in your life right now,” Kev said after the audience member complied. He then commanded the audience member to return the glasses to his face.
“You can see clearly now.”