(Cashmere Cricket-Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio-December 6, 2016)
Cliff Cash (Photograph courtesy of Focus on the Coast)
My first nine years of education were spent at a Catholic school. While the classroom instruction was top-notch, the overarching culture left me profoundly affected. I felt the impact long after I moved on to a public high school.
Cliff Cash unpacks growing up in the South in the same manner that I dealt with growing up Catholic. The North Carolina native clearly loves his home and embraces the individual that it made him. However, he is not oblivious to the baggage that accompanies his environment. Through his comedy, he is looking to change the closed minds and hearts of people around the country.
This is Cash’s second visit to the Cashmere Cricket in as many years. During the first few minutes of his set, he assumed the persona of a dim-witted, closed-minded Southern stereotype who was praying for the future of America.
He continued on to talk about how Southerners are represented on television, the presidential election, and Donald Trump. He pointed out that the United States isn’t a “white” country, rather it is a melting pot. One can’t pick and choose who is included.
Nothing was safe. He touched on race, homosexuality, Duck Dynasty, bizarre television, the KKK, Lil Wayne, and Nicki Minaj.
One of the most interesting bits he did was about a recent camping trip Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Garrettsville, Ohio. Unaware of both a nearby concert venue and the park’s proximity to an Amish community, Cash details going on a scenic hike while his perception was enhanced by…erm…mushrooms. He is still ironing out the bit but it is a great glimpse into the mind of a talented comic.
Willis Gordon takes the stage like a gentleman bank robber. Dressed in an impeccable suit and wearing a sharp, warm smile, he quickly unloads a shotgun blast of truth to the guts of the audience.
He is smart, no-nonsense, and justifiably angry.
If it walks like a Nazi…
Gordon blazed through a set of socially conscious material. He concentrated on race and his incredulity of the result of the recent election. He feels that the world is fucked up and encourages, no, demands that people do something about it.
Not afraid to shock, at one point during his set, he suggested that all black men go to a country music concert, find a woman dancing in a confederate flag bikini, take her home and well, you get the idea.
He also does a righteous impression of President Obama.
Willis Gordon is comic of the highest order. For now, he hosts an online talk show called Willis Gordon’s Impolite Conversation, but he actually belongs on television. Given the right platform, he has the smarts and talent to make a serious impact.
Kenny: “It’s time to bring the god damn thunder!”
Reese’s Pee-Cees. Fifth Third Bank. BEARskin condoms. Weed. The Lyrics of the national anthem. Curious George.
Kenny is like the former party bro who you’d expect to be living in his parent’s basement but actually is highly educated and successful.
And he is a tremendous storyteller. He closed his set with a tale about seeing the band Mushroomhead while on psychedelics. Later, he and his buddy ran into a horse named “Tony.” It’s a great story that is best heard from him.
This is my second time seeing Mary Santora in a two or three week period, so I was familiar with her set. Knowing the beats going in, it was fascinating to watch her draw the sword across the stone to further hone her material. Slight additions and omissions either punched up existing laughs or drew reaction where there previously was none.
Eric Brewer acted as the host of the evening. He blitzed through an opening set where he mused about the shittiness of 2016, his account of being ejected from the Cleveland Home and Garden Show for being hammered, the merits of alcohol, murdering a cicada, and “micropenis.”
Brewer has an impish charm in the vein of Van Wilder. He is funny and cool and the type of guy who bothers to remember fans’names. He is a driving force in the local comedy scene, as he not only organized the evening but he also runs the Craft Brewed Comedy show at the Ohio Brewing Company.
Contact Brian Kenny here.
Contact Mary Santora here.