Showtime at the Tavern: Roy Wood Jr. and Ali Clayton Visit AU

BY: JAMES LEPINSKY CONTRERAS  

Photo: Oduntan Oluwateniola

Photo: Oduntan Oluwateniola

“Water tastes better when you’re thirsty,” said Roy Wood Jr, comedian and correspondent for hit satire television series, The Daily Show. While this was not supposed to be taken literally (of course), Wood believes that comedy has not changed, but the demand has increased during Trump’s presidency. 

On Saturday, January 26th, the Student Union Board and Kennedy Political Union hosted two comedians, Roy Wood Jr. and Ali Clayton to a packed audience in the Mary Graydon Center. American University’s politically and socially aware campus was gifted with a refreshing perspective of what is happening in America by way of Wood’s humor and material. 

Clayton, the first comedian of the night, opened her set by talking about her identity as a lesbian, her relationship with her family, and her Southern background. Afterwards, Wood Jr. took the stage with topics from the upcoming 2020 presidential election to Street Fighter and Black superheroes. 

In many colleges and universities around the United States, there is an ongoing debate about political correctness and whether or not it can belong in a comedy space. “People have a right to be upset at what a comedian says, but it’s not a comedian’s job to say what everyone wants to hear,” said Wood. “There is a fine line between saying a bad joke and an uncomfortable truth.”

It became apparent that both Wood and Clayton used comedy as a platform for marginalized voices, and a way to process pain. “Comedy is the tool of the outspoken, the best comedy punches up,” said Wood. “That’s why you don’t see a lot of one percenters in comedy spaces.”

For Wood Jr., this is just a taste for his newest stand-up special, “No One Loves You”. The special aired on Comedy Central Friday, January 25th, available to stream on Comedy Central’s website.

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