The Laughter Concludes.
Don’t ask me why, I blog and put images on this site in the most odd order and way. I am typing and blogging about this event two years later (for shame), but thankfully it was such a good time that I can remember some/most of the night’s details. It also helps to have saved the program in the same folder as the images on your hard drive.
All that said, back in August of 2016, the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, my friends, my colleagues, hosted The [terrific] Comedy Comedy Festival which is exactly what it sounds like. It was a four night extravaganza of talent beyond talent performing sketches skits, musicals, and stand-up comedy. As the title of this page suggests, I photographed events on three of those four evenings and this page is dedicated to that third night of fun.
I will blog nights 1 and 2 soon, and probably change/delete all of this blah blah that I have typed here.
Night #3 took place at the Aratani Theatre at the JACCC and presented the Disoriented Comedy Four Year Anniversary Show. Disoriented Comedy is “the first-ever (mostly) female Asian American stand-up comedy tour,” established in 2012, and they took the stage on an evening that would feature a great line up of six stand-up comics.
Outside of the Aratani Theatre, guests lined up awaiting the show and as always, I captured a little bit of the ambiance which featured some entertainment from a Disoriented Comedy cast member, as well as a couple of step and repeat images of some of the night’s talent. When the show began, Alison De La Cruz and comedienne, Jenny Yang, opened with a few remarks, followed by the evening’s emcee, Atsuko Okatsuka, performing a hip-hop dance entrance with a pretty cool dance crew:
You’ve probably seen him on the ABC comedy, Fresh Off the Boat, a few episodes of Veep, heard his voice in Robot Chicken, or if you watched it before it was shunned from the public eye, saw him portray Kim-Jong Un in The Interview. The very awesome Randall Park opened the evening with a fun set that was poking fun at a few Asian stereotypes:
Next to the stage was one of Disoriented Comedy’s co-founders, stand up comedienne and actress, Atsuko Okatsuka. As mentioned before, she played emcee for the evening, introducing each comic and interluding with brief minute long bits of her own. Her opening set, among other things, eventually became about…what she finds pleasurable during sex [one of the images will give you an idea of what that is, but I won’t say which one.] It was this bit that my friend Alison De La Cruz, then Director of Performing Arts and Community Engagement at the JACCC, said she was worried what the elders in the audience might think of the night, but they ended up loving it:
Jenny Yang, another co-founder of Disoriented Comedy, had been a co-host and co-emcee of a different Comedy Comedy night. She has great presence and energy and I was interested to see what her stand up would be like. Absolutely hilarious. I believe the term is “giving no f***ks.” She is/was brash bold and owned the stage and room.
Jenny threw me off my game. I’m always so focused on capturing the moment, reading the energy of a person or group of people to get the best images possible. It was a comedy show, and of course I enjoyed it, but Jenny got me off track and I was laughing at moments I should have been snapping photos. She got me with a funny bit about embracing her “spare tire” and by offering it to a gentleman in the front row:
The third co-founder of Disoriented comedy is the queer/transgender, Tamil-Sri Lankan, comic, D’Lo. He can be seen in numerous roles in titles such as Transparent and Sense 8. His energy was astounding and his set was about adventures in dating and eventually veered towards, uhh, what he finds pleasurable during sex. It was a common theme for the night. He had the crowd in an uproar (the good kind):
The night ended with Sheng Weng. The writer for Fresh Off the Boat and featured Comedy Central Presents comic, had a chill and slightly monotone demeanor, a style that works well for a lot of comics. Intellectual life observations; that’s his game, and it works.
He delivered my favorite joke/punchline of the night. I’ll repeat and paraphrase it: Have you ever opened up your refrigerator and found a ripe avocado? Yeah, it’s exciting. Guacamole tonight. One ripe avocado is a celebration. But if you open up your refrigerator and you have five? That’s a crisis…
After the show wrapped, the comics took a moment to pose for a group photo (I guess Randall Park had to head out early). The other comics hung around and interacted with a few fans to end the evening. A very successful night and Comedy Comedy Festival in general: