“Night Train” is the next big comedy show.
On Monday, June 27, Seeso hosted a premiere party for their newest project, Night Train with Wyatt Cenac, in collaboration with the Why Hunger nonprofit group. Night Train with Wyatt Cenac is a new comedy series that debuts some of the funniest standup comedians around. And to get ready for the six episode release, a standup comedy show was held at Littlefield starring Wyatt Cenac, Quincy Jones, Sasheer Zamata, Hari Kondabolu, Michelle Wolf, and Maeve Higgins. The show started off with Cenac doing his set and warming up the crowd. Cenac was very personable and had a coolness to him that made the audience in this crowded room feel more at ease. From jokes about how gross JFK is to wanting kids so he could board planes first, Cenac’s set was solid.
After his set, Cenac introduced Quincy Jones to the stage who had a very unique style to his performance. After each joke, Jones went back to his phone to rate the audience’s enjoyment of the joke, something which made the audience laugh even more. From personal stories to punny one liners, Jones had the audience in his hand for the most part. Next to the stage was Maeve Higgins. In my opinion, Higgins’ set was extremely clever and had me laughing hard. She was able to take very real and very sensitive subjects and make them funny. One example was how she is taking the rising islamophobia and using it to her advantage because now she can stare at brown guys (who she is mainly attracted to) and not be judged hard for making weird and sexual faces to them. Higgins was a favorite of the night for sure.
Up next was Hari Kondabolu who is known for his very witty and political jokes. Hari started off talking about his parents and what it was like growing up in his time. He told a story about how early on he was homophobic but how his mom was not and how it was such a strange concept to him. Hari has a way of delivering such personal stories and making them relatable to the audience. One of the funniest bits from him was when he talked about Indians and their obsession with mangos (if you’re Indian you will get it). Hari killed it and nothing from him has ever left me disappointed. After his set, Cenac treated the audience to a sneak preview of Night Train, showing us a clip of H. Jon Benjamin dressed in a cat costume and doing a set primarily made up of cat jokes. It was interesting and unique to say the least but that clip does show a lot of promise for this show.
After that, Sasheer Zamata came on stage next and she was fun to watch perform. She has such an infectious energy to her that makes her more relatable and funnier. She talked a lot about race and what it was like being black and on SNL and it was a very refreshing take on something so serious. Zamata is an expert on taking social problems and examining them in a funny way. After her set, Cenac and Zamata stayed on stage to talk a bit about Prince. They asked Vernon Reid, best known as the guitarist in Living Color, to come on stage and share some stories about his moments with Prince. Reid said that there will never be an experience with Prince that can ever be considered normal. Reid went on to tell a story which had a lot of side notes and extra comments thrown in by Cenac, which was unfortunate because he didn’t have enough time to finish his story. But after his story, Cenac introduced Michele Wolf to the stage. Michele was as witty, clever, and as dry as ever. Her set was strong and left the show on a good note. You can check out Night Train with Wyatt Cenac on Seeso and will air Thursday, June 30 so check it out.