During Alex’s performance at Stellar Underground’s monthly show in November, l was tickled by the transparency of his joke telling skills and casual sassy punchlines. He seemed very confident with his material which made me effortlessly drawn to him. One particular punchline that stuck with me is when he referred to himself as 'diet gay'. When ladies befriend Alex, they’re expecting a stereotypically boisterous , enthusiastic personality, but instead you get ‘Diet Gay’. An acquiescent, nonchalant friend who cheers you on with “it’s fine, I guess”. Still makes me giggle.
After my instant interest in Alex, I soon had to look him up via Instagram which was very easy to find; and of course, not only did I find him charmingly funny but New York obviously does too as he was booked for a show almost every night of the week! Out of the handful of show choices, I attended a monthly show called Brown Privilege at the ‘Friends and Lovers’ bar in Brooklyn. The show is a platform for PoC comedians, hosted by Indian American brothers Saureen & Saurin, who led the show with intimate crowd work and ad-libs vía Dj Set.
After sitting through five funny acts, the audience was drunk & ready for more with the grand finale being Mr. Alex English, he did not disappoint. He started off strong with his personable experiences of his ex from a previous relationship becoming transgender and gives us his take on the difference between being transphobic and just straight up petty. There truly is a fine line if you’re the one who was broken up with; according to Alex. He succeeds to not only make the audience laugh but enlightened them with a little extra perspective about LGBTQ+ culture, by expressing his role as a supportive partner being taken away from him as the change in his ex-partners life evolves. The audience listened to his words carefully which naturally hushed the room.
As a comedian, that’s the last thing you want to hear- unless you’re Alex English setting up one of his great punchlines to get the crowd roaring again. Since the audience responded well to his possibly awkward topics, he proceeded to share a new joke he was proud of. Although I cackled at the new joke, the audience turned a little sour but Alex held his ground and gave the audience that naturally playful sassiness that I love and commented that it was us [the audience] that ruined the vibe and not him “I thought y’all were educated” is how he turned the laughs back on seamlessly.
In stand up culture it can be difficult to keep a diverse audience connected and comfortable, but Alex seems to be a natural at getting the audience on his side. When your personality shines through your jokes how can you not win? I look forward to hearing more from Mr. English as he continues to thrive on the NYC stages.
Written by: Ashley James