Comedy with a purpose
Conscious Comedy Tour
Review by Ross Anthony

Here is the mission statement of the tour (reprinted from their press kit):
..created to entertain audiences of all ages throughout the U.S. while instilling positive messages. Each comedian is committed to providing clean, refreshing stand-up that is humorous and non-derogatory; suitable for any occasion. Our mission is to not use profanity or any demeaning statements to denigrate anyone through laughter. The CONSCIOUS COMEDY TOUR does not believe it needs to offend anyone in order to be humorous. The CONSCIOUS COMEDY TOUR promises to include the best in stand-up talent who all believe in clean comedy. This Tour is committed to being socially aware and responsible. Through this mission, we anticipate the CONSCIOUS COMEDY TOUR to be an event that will not only draw local and national attention, but will also have an effective impact on the way comics are viewed.

The Tour is hosted by AJ Jamal and features: Jonathan Slocumb, Shang Forbes, Gilbert Esquivel, Lewis Dix, George Wallace, Scruncho, Hope Flood, D'Militante, Vince D, Doug Williams, The Mooney Twins, Melanie Camarcho, Darryl Bronson, Annie McKnight. -- Though don't expect to see them all at any one show.

This is the review for the July 23rd, 2002 launch at the El Roy Theatre in Los Angeles.

Prior to the show we asked Anthony the promoter, "as opposed to unconscious comedy?" He chuckled, "No no, you know 'The Kings of Comedy'? This is sort of the alternative ... something you can bring the family too."

Well, the CONSCIOUS COMEDY TOUR is cleaner and though it might not be as squeaky-clean as promised, it's still a good show!

I can't say enough for AJ Jamal. He was the perfect MC/Host. Warm, relaxed, fun and quite funny. He took the liberty of contributing plenty of time at the mic between bits and controlling the show's mood. He was splendid. "I live Orange County, don't know why they call it Orange -- I'm the closest thing to orange there." And the bit about "Old car in a gas station and you need every kind of fluid but gas" had this crowd rolling.

We arrived early, but the show started late, opening surprisingly with some hip-hop. Shadow kept the rhymes steady and deep, he was complimented by tissa's sweet back up vocals. I'm not sure if they were clean, couldn't quite make out the words - but definitely sensual overtones in dance.

The first comedian, Lewis Dix, steps up to the microphone. "Perfect parenting is an oxymoron. -- You can't hit 'em but you can trip em."

Then Gilbert, "I was brought up on the wrong side of the law -- I was a cop." And "You know your Mescan when your socks and shorts meet together." He complements his ethnic comedy with a cute little tamale analogy to add a taste of sweetness to the act. Then back to East Indian rap, very funny and a Black person over-doing the Star Spangled Banner at a bball game, both of which could have been offending and or funny depending on your perspective. We laughed.

Then Hope Flood took stage and seemed to have a little trouble finding her groove, "We don't kidnap each other's kids, we don't want the ones we got."

Then Shang grabbed the stage with confidence and a dash of angst. Very political, very funny, very unhappy with the current president. His response to those who say, "Go back to Africa" is "go back to having sex with your sister." He also needed to grab a certain part of his anatomy at one point (for emphasis) -- definitely not a G -rated bit. But very funny.

Jay Lamont stepped up, family friendly, funny with a crowd-pleasing warmth. He imitated a turntable DJ mixer complete with rhythm section and techno-pop all from his mouth and mic. His Al Green/ Michael Jackson broadcast news bit put the crowd in stitches. And he's got a heck of a good voice himself.

I got the feeling that AJ brought Jay up as a way to leave the show on the squeaky-clean note that Shang rather strayed from.

Over all, though fudging on the G-rating it professes, and dabbling in politics, the CONSCIOUS COMEDY TOUR is still very funny and does meander around a good heart. Coincidentally, I was invited to hear a Christian comedian in the East suburbs of LA. His name was Cory Edwards and he was squeaky-clean, dabbled in religion, but was still funny too.

  • Conscious Comedy Tour. Copyright © 2002.
  • Produced by SoundBoy Entertainment, Inc.

Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:16:56 PDT