When: Dec. 19-28 2008
Novice comics often consult notes onstage; Deon Cole incorporates the handicap into his act, claiming he's testing jokes. When the clearly well-prepared, polished material works—and it usually does—he makes a show of jotting down the crowd's response, drawing more laughs. Part of the shtick is Cole's superficially amateurish delivery and lifeless demeanor—the result, he claims, of too much drinking and toking. (If fish is brain food, he says, "I may just start smoking fish.") But the native south-sider's effortless charisma breaks through this lethargic persona. In one clever bit he plays a nervous comic, trying to fill time—"Give it up for the ladies," "Who's from Atlanta?"—then switches to the audience's perspective: "Bitch, we all from Atlanta, give us a joke." Cole has plenty of them to give.