In the third edition, first filmed of “Boogie’s Comedy Slam,” you get Mike Epps as the opener, Karlous Miller, Red Grant, Gary Owen, and Tony Roberts, in that order. Epps opens with jokes about people in the crowd, like Stephen Curry. Karlous Miller’s set feels like a whole comedy special as he talks about the homeless, the LGBT community, and so much more. Then Red Grant beats a dead horse by talking about drinking with people you shouldn’t.
Which, thankfully, is followed by Gary Owen, who hands out some local sports jokes, which end up causing his set to be overtaken by local 49er fans, but he takes back control. Leaving us with Tony Roberts, who, from his praise of big girls, talking about having road rage and being a freaky 45+-year-old man, he finishes things off and leaves you needed an inhaler, a paper bag, whatever you use to catch your breath.
Karlous Miller eclipsed everyone. He buried Red Grant, by setting expectations too high and made Mike Epps seem like his unknown, just getting started opening act. I’d even say, watching him do a 15 to 20-minute set makes you think he is ready, or damn near, for a full hour. Because his jokes landed one after another. And unlike many others, he didn’t beat a joke to death or spent an exuberant amount of time doing crowd work. He acknowledged where he was then jumped right in and was basically like Bernie Mac in “The Kings of Comedy.” Meaning, yes, there were other people, but can you truly say you remember what they said?
Gary Owen delivers what you expect, but that’s not why his set was a highlight. More so, it is him getting the crowd back after seemingly losing them by mentioning local conflicting football teams. That showing of not just his talent, but skill, was something to applaud. For it isn’t like Owen was working some small club with one or two hecklers, that was a big room, and he got drowned out once or twice.
“Boogie’s Comedy Slam” had one hell of an opener, and Roberts was a strong closer. From his big girl rap to talking about his road rage, he may not have met Miller’s level of comedy, but he made damn sure you weren’t going to say Karlous should have been the closer. Hence why he probably had one of the most physical and diverse sets of the night. Making it so, be it hell or high water, your ass was going to laugh at something he said. Damn your sense of humor.
A part of me wonders if Miller’s set was so funny just because Epps, as the opener, was so dry. Not to take away anything from Epps’ career, but I’ve always struggled to laugh at his material and performances, and this time around was no different. Making when he made the transitions between comedians a blessing though, who knows, for those like Red Grant, maybe Epps trying to work on some additional material could have helped him out.
On The Fence
One of the things you may hear a lot of comedians talk about is not wanting to follow this comic or that comic. When it comes to Red Grant, I bet he wishes he didn’t follow Karlous Miller. Mind you, I’m not going to say Grant wasn’t funny. His whole thing on what happens when your friends push you to drink was funny – at first. But then he beat that joke into the ground.
Which, considering Miller’s imitation of gay men, ghetto girls, the homeless, and so many other topics, Grant focusing on one subject for damn near his whole set made it seem he should of went first.
Watch this for Karlous Miller and stick around for Tony Roberts. As for the comics in the middle? Red Grant creates the valley after Miller’s hill, and while Owen does better than Grant, him losing the crown, but getting them back, creates a notable stumble. One he recovers from, but him sticking on sports just a little too long may lose you if that isn’t your thing.
But, despite 2 out of 4 not necessarily being home runs, I must admit this is the most I laughed in a long time. Hence the positive label.
Where To Watch
Karlous Miller - 95%
Gary Owen - 84%
Tony Roberts - 87%
Mike Epps - 65%
Red Grant - 72%
despite 2 out of 4 not necessarily being home runs, I must admit this is the most I laughed in a long time.