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DVD Review: Reginald D Hunter Live

28th November 2011

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Reginald D Hunter’s justification that it is okay to laugh at a man’s encounters with the mother he “hates”,  the n-word and rape is, unnaturally, convincing.

Reginald D HunterIt is a classic indication of where comedy in this country is heading; we love the jokes that instinctively make us laugh, before our social consciousness decides to bring a hand to our mouth, unlike our more humour-conservative neighbours across the pond (anyone remember Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes..?).

This is of course a man who has achieved more success in Britain than he has in his home country. He understands the Brit (well, the white Brit) accurately; the “nation of people who have a drink before they go out for a drink”. “You” he declares to us, “drink like Americans eat”.

There is a sense of admiration in his comments of us Brits. In his gentle, deep-south American accent, we are oddly very receptive to his confidence in the knowledge he has of our culture. There are many differences between us and him yet he recognises the absurdity of our class system and his attempts to use sarcasm back home in America are hilarious; “in parts of Georgia”, he states, “sarcasm is still considered witchcraft”.

Although 13 minutes into his routine he claims to “not like talking about the race stuff” (despite spending all the time preceding, and a considerable time afterwards doing so), this is without doubt what he does best.

If “Britain does white people very well”, then Reg does talking about them even better. His observations on the white man fearfully taking racism out of hand are brilliant; he’s sorry of course, that his “liberal” use of the n-word has caused any offence to white people.

I suppose Hunter’s style is so laid-back that anything goes. So much so is his relationship with his father that having a chat with a theatre-hall packed full of unknown audience members is nothing to him, when compared to sitting in the confinements of his car, with his father, talking about “fart sniffers”.

However, there are times when laid-back trickles into laziness. The dreary olive green shirt and plain brown shoes are one thing, but there are times, particularly in his more anecdotal material at the end, which, when combined with his low and rhythmic voice, trailed off.

The first half was definitely more entertaining. Is his confidence in his outlandish material getting the better of him?

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