My wife and I went to see the first of Trevor Noah’s two sold-out shows at The Peabody on Friday night, and we had a great time.
Noah, who has really grown into his role as host of “The Daily Show,” did about 70 minutes of standup while moving about the stage, as my wife described it, like a dancer. He started with a ten-minute chunk on his recent vacation in Bali, in which he showed off his ability to do voices and tell a great story. Later, he moved into the kind of political humor you’d expect, working over Trump and his minions pretty good. The highlight was when he compared Michael Cohen getting money from people and corporations who wanted influence with the president to an internet con job:
I’m actually shocked that these major corporations got tricked by the classic Nigerian prince scam. Because if Michael Cohen had pitched them in an African accent, they would have seen this coming from a mile away. “Hello my dear friends! My name is Michael Cohen. I write to you with a blessed opportunity. My friend Donald Trump is soon to be president! And if you permit me my desire to send me $1.2 million, I promise to make you very, very rich.”
Noah also discussed the time he was invited to the White House to interview Barack Obama (and how much he misses him as president), how differently we’d view menstruation if it were men who bled, and a final routine about being called the n-word, which has a different connotation in his home country of South Africa. Throughout, his timing, delivery, and material were all top-notch.
I only had two complaints about the evening. One was the use of a smoke machine, which blew in theatrical fog from the right side of the stage all night, for no reason at all — standup comedians do not need special effects. The other was the opening act, Angelo Lozado, who kept yelling at us to “make some noise!!” That’s not how you warm up an audience at a comedy show — you do it by making us laugh, not insisting that we scream to prove how excited we are. Unfortunately, Lozado had no discernible funny material, but instead did some crowd work with a few people in the front row. Unless you’re as good at working the room as Paula Poundstone or Jimmy Brogan, that technique can get tedious quickly. Fortunately, Lozado was only up there for about ten minutes.