Jay Pharoah - Caroline's on Broadway - 11/7/13

Categories: Comedy, Live

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Corey Melton
Walking into a sold out venue can be a mess, but last night the staff at Caroline's on Broadway were seasoned pros when it came time to handle the masses. Packed to capacity, the crowd was herded in and took their seats for headliner Will Smith Denzel Washington Jay Pharoah of SNL. After a few quick shout outs to thank all of the 10th annual New York Comedy Festival sponsors (including Village Voice, holllllllla), everyone was amped and ready for the show to finally start.

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Hosting the event was Hadiyah Robinson and yes. She came right out making sure that we "white folk" knew how to spell her name properly. Hadiyah started with some crowd work, finding out where the audience was from -- quite a mix of locals and out-of-towners from far and wide (Arkansas, Montreal, Philly, Cali). She warned the non-New Yorkers about creepy men on the trains (unless they're cute because then they're not so creepy), talked about being single, and mentioned she had no kids before asking the crowd to "clap it up for abortions."

After two openers, Pharoah hit the stage dancing and rapping along to 2 Chainz and was met with uproarious applause. Wearing a sphinx t-shirt and vest hoodie, it was obvious Pharaoh was at ease on the stage. He rocked the house, and no topic was too taboo. He riffed about "sistas" tendency to be very He instantly went in on his love for "sistas" because of the way they are so expressive with their hands. White folks weren't spared either, Pharoah saying they make him feel safe, especially in a bad neighborhood because, "Ya'll will get robbed before me."

Throughout the hour long set, Pharoah returned to the theme "I ain't no punk. I'm a survivor," as he discussed meeting and shaking Magic Johnson's hand (and how he washed his hands for 20 minutes afterward), why he can no longer smoke weed, thanking Asians for the game "Candy Crush" and hating on the Japanese for messing up porn for him, how everyone will stop what they're doing when the "Cha Cha Slide" comes on (even people at a funeral carrying a casket), and why people need to take an authoritative tone with their kids.

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