The Comedy Central series “Featuring” is a goldmine of today’s freshest faces in the stand up world, and some lucky comedy fans were privy to the newest batch via two live tapings hosted recently at Rough Trade NYC record store in Williamsburg.
Rough Trade NYC is the High Fidelity meets Williamsburg coffee shop that you’ve been looking for. First opened in the punk-happy streets of 1976 West London, this record store seems like the kind of place that would host intimate shows in a back room, festooned with a smoke machine and black-lit stage, which it just so happens it does.. All in all, the perfect setting for Comedy Central to capture NYC’s upcoming talent in a double-header comedy show.
The seven comedians in the early show were a diverse group of millennials, all with varying styles and all with a few bones to pick. There was a little something for everyone in this group, from Opey Olagnaju’s Nigerian perspective on the political climate, to Michael Rowland’s view growing up in Atlanta. Paris Sashay and Pat Regan each had some biting commentary from the LGBTQ worldview, while Jourdain Fisher had some serious opinions on being the black ambassador in a group of white friends. Greta Titelman had expert advice on how not to date, and Noah Gardenswartz provided a fascinating theory on how hating people can actually make you less racist.
The comedians featured in the late show were lined up dichotomously, which kept the audience on their toes. Each of the comedians revealed personal facts about themselves and presented a blend of observational and anecdotal humor. From Emmy Blotnick and Jo Firestone’s tenacious and calculated delivery alongside perfectly-timed off-script comments, to Casey Salengo, Jay Jurden, Nore Davis and Jak Knight’s energetic delivery and outrageous theories, each comedian touched on a barrage of topics with hard-hitting punchlines that generated snorts, cackles and high-volume applause. A well rounded blend of comedians and topics, the show featured refined comedians who managed to toe-the-line between politically correct and “did they just say that?!”
On the whole, the fresh faces and future of household-name comedy offer a little something for everyone, and foreshadow a spotlight on a diversifying (and still very funny) industry. In a world where people must remember to laugh through adversity, Comedy Central selected an eclectic group of refined comedians to remind audiences that although different, things get a little easier when we laugh together.
Comedy Central Featuring Premieres, January 7th. Watch out for it on their digital platforms.