By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
THE INAUGURAL Weekend Comedy Wild Out event by Paragon Nights Entertainment delivered a full house at the British Colonial Hilton, last Saturday.
As each act took the stage, there was not a frown in sight. Everyone was full of laughter listening to the Internet’s newest sensation, JJ, the Bahamian Bernie Mac, along with international comedy host Barbara Carlyle and headliner Red Grant.
For those that missed out on the comedic night, prompters said there is no need to worry, as there is much more to come from Paragon Nights. Beginning in July, there will be a comedy show hosted every first weekend in the month.
Nelson Armaly of Paragon Nights, said: “In August, the schedule is going to change to the second weekend, due to the August Monday holiday. People are asking for Barbara again, so we will be bringing her in to host for a next show. We are always going to have international comedians come in, as well as Bahamian comedians. I want to continue to get Bahamians involved.”
“The goal of my company is to offer an experience for talent. I want the experience to be more than just a comedy show, I want it to be more of a comedy club where people can look forward to attending regularly,” said Mr Armaly.
In an interview with Tribune Entertainment, JJ said he has been involved in the comedy scene for many years. He is best known for performing at weddings and small events. However, his spot on Bernie Mac impersonation has gained him notoriety.
“I don’t do stand up comedy full time. I am a hotel man. And I just started talking like Bernie Mac after some guest discovered me and they told me I have natural talent. So that is how I got here; it got all over the Internet on Facebook and Youtube,” said JJ.
He said he was honoured to perform with the likes of Red Grant, because he was always inspired by people like him, Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence and Bernie Mac of course.
JJ said there are not many Bahamian comedians and for anyone who wants to pursue it, he would advise them to go out and just do it.
“Go out and push and you never know what can come out of it. You have nothing to lose, but you have a lot to gain. Thank you to Paragon Entertainment for the exposure and I think a lot of people who are interested in things like this, should keep it up,” said JJ.
One of the funniest acts to hit the stage was Barbara Carlye, who said her performance was mostly freestyle. In comedy for 34 years, Barbara said she performed in the Bahamas for the first time about four years ago.
“It felt great to be asked to come and perform for this show because I haven’t been over seas in a while and then to come to the Bahamas, was great. With this crowd, you get to know a little about the culture, and laughter is universal so as long as the people can relate to what you are talking about, the crossover is great,” said Barbara.
“Everybody basically thinks the same thing is funny, it is just how you deliver it and how a crowd accepts you. Before going on stage, I was just hoping that they would be open minded. I do see myself coming back and staying longer when its not raining so much,” she said.
For Red Grant, he said his performance was nothing but thunder and a lot of heat. His session was suited for a mature crowd.
“I just came to make the people laugh and make the people feel good. I talked about some of the stuff that I’ve seen since I’ve been here in the Bahamas since Thursday. This is my second time performing here and the first experience was awesome as well. Coming over here for the second time is awesome because you get to learn some of the cultures and what you can and cannot do. But the people love me over here, they look at a lot of Katt Williams’ American Hustle,” said Red Grant.
He is currently on a national tour called “Let Me Live”. He will be back on the road with Katt Williams starting in August.