In walks a Jew and a Black Guy… well you might cringe to those words in this political correct world expecting some crass slur. But maybe, these terms can lead to a path to understanding. Comics David Rosen and Jordan Stylez are trying to make the world a better place by making people face their differences and laugh at the universal commonality of life in their show “The Stereohypes”.
Laughter is often referred to as the best medicine but actually studies show that laughing is a social mechanism to bring people together.
I got to experience this madness formula when these guys took over the Atlanta jewel the Punchline Comedy Club. Walking into this dim house of comedy you see the walls lined with signed head shot photos from comic greats of years past. I hunkered down in my table one and ordered one of the fine local brews.
Dynamic duo Rosen and Stylez have a comfort of delivery in their banter. The rhythm of the night was comic, banter, comic and banter with the comics appearing in all the shades of the rainbow.
A portion of the proceeds from that night’s events went to Open Jewish Project which deals with human trafficking. As mentioned that night Atlanta is number one in human trafficking, not an honor to be proud of, so this group is working on bringing awareness to the average seven two hundred a day minor sexual abuses occurring in our state.
Before the show, I had the opportunity to visit with several of the star attractions and they shared their insights into the funny business. Ironically it is no laughing matter making people laugh, comedy is a highly specialized skill.
Part of the dynamic duo Jordan Stylez is the self-proclaimed resident black guy and is more subdue in a one on one interview. His humor is thoughtful and methodical. He connected with Rosen while working in the comedy circuit and the idea of focusing on stereotypes as humor was one that he thought would set them apart. Stylez prefers the shock approach to his rapid fire comedic lines.
Funny man and acknowledged token Jew, David Rosen comes from the old school world of comedy, the type found in the New York Catskill region. (A vacation haven for Jewish folks back in the day where part of the entertainment was situational comedy.) Rosen looking more like rabbi than a comic was wearing a black suit and stereotypical Jewish look. Full of spirit and repressed enthusiasm, Rosen speaks in a fast and furious tone. He enjoys word play and spins them to a quick stop. It is a marvel to see this genius as work as he spreads humor faster than a speeding bullet. Rosen believes that the art of being funny can be hard but in the end the laughs make it worth it. He has taken this show on the road and now claims Georgia home. In the end Rosen admits he wants his audiences to have a good time but leave with a bit more of an understanding of those that may be different from them.
The funniest white girl of the night was Angela Miller, who has opened for the likes of Margaret Cho. Even though she has lost over sixty pounds, she still claims to be the fat girl in the mix, where now I would consider her more as a curvy vixen blond. She admitted that her nerves were getting the best of her that night but she “always gets nervous before she hits the stage”. She was profusely sweating and kept wiping her brow while using self-deprecating humor to put me at ease during our one on one interview. I can attest that you cannot resist laughing
Later in Miller’s set she shared that she doubled as the Kool Aid character while wearing a bright red smiling muumuu. Her inspirations are the comics of the 80s: John Candy, Richard Pryor and such and believes her life is reality show. Miller noted that she kept having these crazy incidents happen and folks always told her that she was funny. One night on a ride home, she saw a sign for open mic at a dive bar and the rest is history. Her timing is amazing and what makes her even more enjoyable is that she is not afraid to be vulnerable and laugh at herself. As to her long-term goals she hopes to be a talk show host and get a chance to interact with her comedic heroes Ellen Degeneres and Steve Martin. What might she ask them? Well her comments might be too naughty to print but it seems like a fun request.
The resident Asian for that night was Steven Knows. He hails from the cubical corporate world until he took a stab at being a comedian. This was also an item from his bucket list and after being on stage he discovered, “hey I’m funny!” When asked what else was on Knows’ bucket list, It was to date an African-American girl. He wants to go out with one, but has trouble being cool enough to garner their affections. “Maybe tonight is the night”, chuckles Knows.
If anyone gets the godfather treatment it is Bo Micadelic, this stout Mr. Clean shiny head hails from New York. How he got into the funny business came about from his days working a series of regular blue-collar jobs. Jokes would break the ice and make the time go by faster. On stage, Bo is not afraid to tackle the subtleties of going through a divorce, fitting into the south, and making shock statements. He has been hailed as the mentor to the dynamic Jew and black duo and his mastery of his crafts proves it.
The night was a packed house, a tribute to the hustle of these two guys.
Rosen summed it best as he shared what makes something funny, “A shock, an unexpected twist, but overall it is a social mechanism to ease the tension of our differences and daily obstacles and realize we are more alike than not”.
Give it up to this old school comedy duo, they are trailblazers in a soon to be colorless world. President Obama is not the only one that is breaking the color barrier, Rosen and Stylez are kickin’ it up a notch on the street and surely are making their audiences realize that life is and adventure, so why not smile along the way?
To keep up with them find them on Facebook at A Jew and A Black Guy : http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Jew-and-a-Black-Guy/104524116312741