In the Esther & Carol’s intimate downstairs lounge, HBO held its New York Comedy Showcase on Wednesday, October 17th. As an extension of the American Black Film Festival in Miami, the showcase was hosted by Godfrey and featured the comedic talents of Blaq Ron, the winner of HBO’s ABFF Comedy Wings 2018, and runner-up Rita Brent.
The eclectic and cozy space below 341 Broome Street quickly filled with HBO comedy programming executives, managers, agents, and other industry representatives, all gathered to scout out the new talent. With delicious hors d’oeuvres in hand and drinks from the open bar, everyone sat back to enjoy the show — and what a show it was.
Military vet Rita Brent (Hart of the City, Laff Mobb), a beautiful, small-statured woman with a delightful edge of badassery kicked off the night. She pulled rousing laughs from the crowd with hysterically woven tales from her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi and the horrors of life as a non-hetero female married to a man. Brent poked fun at church life, Trump, and the freaky aspects of male anatomy, leaving the audience cackling happily.
Godfrey made a gracious and energetic appearance in the interim. Before introducing Blaq Ron, he brought light to the very true reality of the newfound apathy among Uber drivers. One of Texas’ hottest up-and-coming young comedians, Blaq Ron (NBC’s Stand-Up for Diversity, Soul Train Awards), took the stage and instantly had the audience in stitches as he recounted his experiences flying with Spirit Airlines. A natural-born storyteller, he brought humor to accounts of the “struggle life” of his childhood and the state of the country while ensuring that all were still howling with laughter.
Everyone headed into the after-party with a light-hearted positivity that can only come from the healing medicine that is laughter. What’s next for these two rising comedy stars? Keep your eyes open — a chance to enjoy their stand-up will no doubt be coming your way.