Leslie Jones Transcends Barriers, Drums on Heads

Terry Fator Theatre at the Mirage, July 29


Photo courtesy of Leslie Jones.

If you know nothing about Leslie Jones, know this: She has a foul mouth, a dirty mind and is very funny. She is much funnier doing stand-up than she is in any Saturday Night Live skit.

Some walked into Terry Fator Theatre on July 29 expecting a television star to tell well-rehearsed jokes. Instead, they found a stand-up comic who’s been honing her skills before being a Ghostbuster. Jones reminded the almost-full house that in the years before now, you might not have remembered her name after a show, but you would remember her being “funny as hell.”

This set the stage for the profanity-filled, physically animated, rapid fire, short jokes the audience loved. With little time to recover from her first round of jokes, Jones entered into a bit about rescued dogs, then segued to penis jokes that, while funny, appealed to the lowest common denominator. She made up for them by telling stories from her days as a young woman.

One such story hit the jackpot. It involved the late singer Prince and her “hoe” days. The joke was a physically animated one and kept the audience laughing in waves. Even if you hadn’t heard the joke, seeing Jones arch her back and swing her head to mimic a helicopter while screaming “Prince” is enough to make you keel over with laughter.

Audiences writhe in their seats when comics venture into a theater. This did not happen with Jones. Her racially mixed audience were glad to be picked on. She licked the head of one balding man and played bongo drums with four others. She sang a song by the deceased Chicano-singer Selena while wondering aloud why Hispanics and Blacks don’t get along. Her ability to transcend artificial barriers and make all people laugh is the true comic genius of Leslie Jones. ★★★✩✩