‘A-class’ performances at Comedy Cook-Up
Runaway crime and political shenanigans gave performers on the Christmas Comedy Cook-Up a lot of material to work with on Boxing Day at Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.
The event’s 20th edition attracted a full house which laughed overflowing.
Ian “Ity” Ellis, who started the show with fellow comedian “Fancy Cat” in 2004, told the Jamaica Observer that Christmas Comedy Cook-Up has become a calendar gig which gives patrons who live in Jamaica and overseas the opportunity to hear comics make light of serious issues.
“If you make somebody laugh, it helps defuse the tension and the conflict affecting people. Laughter is an important way to say there is another way to solve our problems,” he said.
For the first time, an all-Jamaican cast took the stage and according to Ellis, “They all gave A-class performances.”
Dr Michael Abrahams, a gynaecologist and newspaper columnist, was in prime form. He said crime was so bad in Jamaica that, “Hurricane ‘fraid fi come yah!”
Abrahams noted that, despite the year-long bloodletting, Jamaican tourism thrived, largely because most of the visitors are white people who get a thrill from danger. He also took a jab at Mark Golding, leader of the Opposition People’s National Party, who some people describe as “white”.
According to Abrahams, Golding must be “challenged” to take on the governing Jamaica Labour Party, suggesting he would sooner take part in a daredevil stunt with a tiger than undertake such a political battle. The crowd offered up raucous laughter.
Fancy Cat entered the room showing off exotic dance moves to Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get it On. Calling on the audience to sing along to Yvonne Elliman’s Love Me and Reasons by Earth, Wind & Fire, he bemoaned the lack of passion in contemporary music and pointed out — with much support from the ladies in attendance — that women are better at cheating than men.
Owen “Blakka” Ellis, veteran of the cast, played the roles of teacher, spiritual adviser, and reluctant comedian.
He told the audience that not many people saw a future for him in theatre, because of his speech impediment. Blakka hilariously noted that his father had an even more pronounced stutter, but was still a hit with the ladies. He fathered nine children, including Ity, his younger brother, who lived just around the road from him in Trench Town.
Dufton Shepherd, Kathy Grant, Christopher “Johnny” Daley, Pretty Boy Floyd, Leighton Smith, and Rosah Rose also gave entertaining sets at Christmas Comedy Cook-Up.
Gospel singer Kevin Downswell closed the evening with a crowd-pleasing performance.