7:30 PM Performance
Cleveland local Rob Ward was the host of the evening. He performed a short, tight set to open the show. He breezed through material about older women, the necessity of tucking one’s belt in, getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases, and the perils of sending nude pictures to your girlfriend. He was confident and polished.
Orlando Leyba (Photographer: David Sutta)
Orlando Leyba was up next to feature. Leyba said this was his first time in Cleveland. He pointed out that everyone around town is in a great mood because the Cleveland Indians are headed to the World Series next week. He predicted an outbreak of pregnancies as a result.
He went on to talk about how pepper spray can solve any problem.
He also revealed that he loves older women because they know how to take care of a man.
Leyba says that now he is older that he has gotten softer, both physically and emotionally. He is much more sensitive now.
He told a funny anecdote about his wife signing him up for Crossfit. It didn’t take him long to realize it’s a giant scam.
Leyba is warm and charismatic. He has a shock of teased hair that stands straight up. He is the type of comic who has you laughing before he even says a word. He was definitely firing on all cylinders this particular evening. He was really funny.
Benji Brown started his headlining set hot. He riffed on pay day and buying gasoline when you are cheap or broke.
Brown then slipped into his first character of the night. He did an impression of a high-energy preacher that slew the room.
He transitioned into a bit about his desire to see black women in a self-sufficient position in life.
I critique us hard because I care so much.
He opined that some women aren’t careful with their finances and find themselves stuck with undesirable men for financial reasons.
I wanna break up so bad…
This segued into him talking about older men dating younger women. The “old heads” have expectations. If they buy a woman a “hot meal,” they are gonna want something at the end of the night. This “hot meal” catchphrase was woven throughout the rest of his set.
In the last third of his performance, he talked about porn, the manner that older women demand sex, and the jeopardy involved with having a “side chick.”
Brown was very funny. Even though his set seemingly ran long (past 9:30), he was able to hold the audience for the entire time. He astutely entwined the “I wanna break up so bad…” and “hot meal” catchphrases throughout his performance in such a manner that each time he hit those buttons he scored bigger and bigger laughs.
This was a solid night of comedy. The audience was attentive and looking for a good time. There weren’t any hecklers or dead patches in the room.
Brown’s material has the punch and memorability of a talented craftsman. He possesses a thorough understanding of his audience and has tailored his act for maximum effect.
That being said, I would like to see more of Orlando Leyba. He is so naturally affable and relatable that I can’t help but be curious to check out more of his work.
-Zep the Bear