DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (8/25/2023) – Getting about 12 -15 minutes each, comedians took the stage at the Ocean Center Friday evening in Daytona Beach, offering their signature brand of funny business. Each one had a different style, but in the end, there wasn’t a single one that fell flat or didn’t elicit laughter. It was even funny when they started joking about white people fighting white people at the show over seats.

Taking the stage, the guy we’d all come to see took over. On his ‘Dark Matter’ tour, Katt Willams offered up a menu filled with the topics of the day, mixed with humor. And we were all better for it.

It was then that I realized, America needs a laugh.

We’re all so bogged down with work and family responsibilities, bad news on the TV and the internet, a conscious effort to keep everyone divided, that there’s no humor in our lives. Real, honest to God belly laughs anymore.

I think it’s the reason comedy shows are selling out across the nation, across the world. This year alone I’ve been to two pro shows – Chris Destefano in Orlando and Katt Williams in Daytona Beach. If I had money to spare, I’d have gone to the surprise Pete Davidson show at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall last week, and don’t get me started on Matt Rife. He’s sold out worldwide.

It’s the reason locally people like comedian Christy B sells out shows and is getting booked to do fundraisers and events like those for Christmas Come True and Bold Ladies in Business. It’s why she has been able to book some of the top talent over the past two to three years for venues across the region.

Starving for Something

Someone said the other night people are hungry – maybe during the debate. Yes, people are hungry. They’re hungry for things to not be so bad, all the time. Some light, some balance in the world.

Perhaps it makes a little more sense to me now.

As a kid of the 80s and 90s, we had lots of really good comedians. I remember Eddie Murphy ‘Raw’, Bill Cosby’s comedy with Jeffery, Jeffery, Jeffery on the plane and the chocolate cake for breakfast routines. Sam Kinison in all his madness and Rodney Dangerfield. George Carlin and Jerry Seinfeld. I saw Gallagher live. Maybe it was a result of the tough years of the inflation and all that was happening in the world in the 70s and early 80s that drew people to the light and laughter comedians bring.

Listening tonight it was more than just somebody making jokes. It was taking the issues – yes, he had Trumps’ mugshot up, after his own, and joked about DeSantis in a yin-yang way, Biden and the unclaimed baggage, reparations, and a sex thing, Ukraine, and UFOs. I may not be explaining it right, but it was like hearing somebody else talk about all the crazy stuff happening to them and in the world, and as an audience member feeling like you can identify. Like being in a moment when it doesn’t all feel so heavy and for just a minute you can laugh at the pure absurdity of it all.

It was cool because throughout the show the comedians made fun of the things that are supposed to be separating us and driving us apart, and in its own way brought us all closer.