Kane Brown hosts a comedy palooza night at Hackney Empire like nothing before. With 9 comedians from 9 different countries, battling head-to-head on 1 stage to take the World Comedy Clash Crown. Being their first show since 2019, I knew the comedians would come out swinging. With a mixture of content spanning from racism to the infamous Oscar Slap, to growing up in a Caribbean household, to work politics, and competing with your wife’s vibrator, there was a joke for everyone. Each Comedian had a timed set for roughly just over 5 minutes and at the end of the night, the audience voted for the best comedian.
In true comedic style, Brown warms up the crowd by quizzing members of the audience. He stumbles upon a Jamaican man called Borris, spelled with two Rs. Borris was a married Bar Manager on holiday without his wedding ring. Shocked at his name, Brown demands to see two forms of ID and is proved wrong. As a prize, he offers to buy Borris a drink. From then on Borris became the running gag of the night. Then Brown moved on to how all Jamaicans think they’re Ghanaians. But clash with Nigerians because they are too similar. Brown stated that you can always tell an African when you see one because they will always be wearing a tracksuit with church shoes. Before ending with the confusion and struggles of communicating at a Ukrainian car wash. Brown’s sets in-between acts were the highlight of the night, a master at work that kept a light and upbeat mood going.
The first act of the night was Miss Mo’Real representing Ghana, the only female comic to take the stage. A slow burner but once she got going in her short 5-minute set, Mo’Real was able to command a crowd. Her focus was on aging gracefully, understanding Caucasian banter concerning Amber heard’s defecation on Johnny Depp’s side of the bed. Navigating motherhood as she reports her children to the council for freeloading and in her latest love conquests, remembering how she was pursued by a man who had 9 baby mamas. He informed her that he had one set of twins but by two different mothers, the pinnacle of her love life. Miss Mo’Real is one to watch.
It is clear why Limz is an award-winning Ugandan Comedian. Dropping one-liners like bombs, Limz speaks about the Black standpoint on white-on-white crime. Exploring the benefits of dating a plus-sized woman, as housebound women are loyal but forget their size when they ask him to pick them up and he must inform them that he can’t lift them up, but he can only lift their spirits up. A memorable comedian that will linger on your mind. Limz will be one to remember in the years to come.
The class was in session with Mr Cee from St Kitts. Cee had a great range of impressions, using it as a teaching moment through comedy. Highlighting that West Indies is not the correct term for Caribbeans as it was made by Christopher Columbus when he got lost on the way to India and ended up in the Caribbean as opposed to India. Cee moves on to using relatable social anxieties like pooping at work but not wanting to let anyone know it was you by using a toilet on a different floor so it cannot be traced back to the perpetrator. Cee is a relatable comedian, that is great at finding humour in everyday activities.
An old-school comedian veteran from Antigua, who believes in equal opportunity as he picks on everyone. His jokes are short and sweet. His comedic style draws all attention to him, he would always get an invite to the cookout.
Nigeria certainly has a gem in its mitts. Toju is a diamond in the rough yet to shine. His opening joke rubbed the audience the wrong way, what seemed like a humorous take on social commentary in Indian culture turned into an offensive tirade that was discriminatory and prejudiced. But Toju prevailed from his faux pas and won the crowd back with Nigerian jokes shedding light on how Nigerians are polite even when they are insulting you. Then ends on a high when commenting on how Caucasian women love to change the lyrics of a song to suit them and reflect what they are going through. Toju’s style is more mixed than a bag of revels, so watch this space.
Flying the flag for Barbados, Quincy debates China’s inevitable takeover of Barbados and how it would be a seamless transition as both languages are similar. His authentic Chinese and Bajan accents was a comedic bridge between the politics of the country and the current social climate. A general crowd-pleaser.
Baptiste is a trailblazer in the comedy circuit, a Grenadian maverick at his craft. Baptiste has a headliner’s presence. With cleverly thought-out antidotes, a fresh and ingenious perspective was brought to the theatre. Baptiste compared Caribbean households to embassies because once you enter the home the laws of the UK do not apply. And a white friend is brought home as a diplomat. But one joke that got the building laughing including the staff was his thoughts on the infamous Oscar slap incident. He expressed that he could not pick a side as he grew up watching Will Smith, admired Chris Rock, and has the same haircut as Jada Pinkett Smith. Baptiste’s style of comedy is built upon layers, satirical yet intellectual. Having never seen Dane Baptiste before, I now understand why there have been so many rave reviews. The set was a masterclass in stand-up comedy. Whatever Baptiste is doing next, I want a ticket!
Francis was the first and only comedian to wipe the mic. The St. Lucian dramatically and wittingly expressed his disgust at sharing a mic for a global event when there are so many outbreaks happing now. This cleverly brought everyone back into the room. Francis discussed how he is trying new things and recently went glamping. But the trip was cut short as he saw an insect move then he abruptly packed up and left. He has also been trying to spice things up in the bedroom department with his wife. And bought her a pair of remote-controlled vibrating panties, ensuring that she had a smile on her face whenever they were out in public or in any awkward situation from 20-feet away. Francis is a dark horse that will leave you in stitches.
Repping Jamaica, Slim was a crowd-pleaser. He discussed how filming for Mo Gilligan’s ‘Mo Gilligan + Friends: The Black British Takeover’ caused some issues. He had to deal with a rude nosey neighbor and his dog, who would defecate on the shared lawn whilst staring at him. Slim also debated race relations in football and the price of being a black footballer whilst enduring racism. He concluded that at the weekly salary of a quarter million, he would happily wheel out the bananas like a market trader himself. Slim’s 15-minute set was eventful and got the crowd going. Due to his large following and being a comedy titan, it was no surprise the audience decided that Slim should take the World Comedy Clash crown.
All in all, it was a great night filled with laughter and joy. Several decorated comedians took the stage by storm. As the first comedy event since lockdown, Comedy Events UK has started with a bang, and it is going strong.
The World Comedy Clash will be touring around the UK, with their next stop in Birmingham at The Glee Club.
Tickets are on sale now.