Jaboukie Young-White of “The Daily Show” comes to AU
Daily Show correspondent’s stand-up reflected on the current political and social climate
American University’s Student Union Board welcomed comedian Jaboukie Young-White, best known for his work on “The Daily Show,” to Constitution Hall, on Sunday, Jan. 26.
Jaboukie performed a stand-up set, entertaining a large crowd of students. His act was an expressive parody, poking fun at some of the major problems in the ongoing news cycle. Whether it was his jokes on trendy food items, phone addiction or living in cities – Jaboukie actively kept the audience engaged in stories that were more meaningful of a bigger societal picture.
Opener Charlie Bardey performed before Jaboukie’s set, joking about his “weird vibes,” his daily life with his therapist and his sex life as a gay man. Bardey interacted with the crowd, performing multiple side-bars in his introduction, and even researched some things that AU students joke about, such as the Terrace Dining Room.
Following Bardey, Jabokuie walked on stage with roaring applause. Jaboukie joked about many topics that AU students could relate to, such as living in cities, riding public transit and getting into college. One joke he told was about how he and a close friend in high school took pictures of already-graded tests and were able to cheat their way through their AP European History class to the point where their scores were starting to influence the grading curve. Laughingly, Jaboukie said he and his friend, “were in class like, ‘we love Euro.’”
Jaboukie’s act also touched on many deeper topics. He talked about what it has been like living in the current political and social environment. He shared stories about living as a gay person in the U.S., and what the Democratic primary has come to, saying, “It’s hard to swallow everything.” He engaged the crowd with a PowerPoint slide presentation where he compared mainstream foods, such as Oat Milk, to famous actresses.
Jaboukie’s jokes were more telling of the current political environment, rather than his sense of humor. He often joked about contemporary issues, which have sparked debate throughout the world, such as phone addiction, social media, and 23andMe. He also made light of his diverse background growing up in a religious Jamaican family in New York, and what it is like living in the U.S. as a minority.
He closed the night with a story about being robbed on his walk home. The robbers took his phone and ran; however, they came back and asked for his passcode. At the end of the story, Jaboukie managed to get his phone back, saying “If you’re annoying enough, you can do anything.”
Jaboukie said during his set that he was uncertain about what the future of politics and social issues looked like, but he looks to comedy as another way of thinking about the issues that are impeding students’ newsfeeds and social lives.