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Roy Wood Jr., Michael Kosta

  • Wisconsin Union Theater 800 Langdon Street Madison, WI, 53706 United States (map)

Roy Wood Jr.'s topical explorations of race headline a night of comedy from two current Daily Show correspondents. Info/tix

Roy Wood Jr. Photo 2018.jpg

There's been a steep increase in the visibility of stand-up comedy specials ever since streaming services started churning them out at a rate of two a week, but it feels like there are fewer and fewer instant classic bits surfacing in that increasingly dense swath of content. A track from The Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood Jr.'s sophomore album, 2017's Father Figure, is an exception to the rule. His 7-minute chunk, titled "Black Patriotism?" rightfully earned not one but two separate write-ups on one culture website alone.

The bit, wherein Wood spends six minutes exploring NFL players' police-brutality protests through the lens of African-American pop music, is a potent example of Wood’s incredible ability to take the complex history (and present-day experience) of racism and make it not only palatable but also deeply resonant to a broad audience that is audibly busting its collective gut. And the rest of that album, as well as his 2013 Appleton-recorded debut Things I Think, I Think, lives up to whatever expectations you could possibly build up based on praise here.

Given the various events of the year since this one bit blew up, there's no telling what kinds of compelling perspectives Wood will expound upon during his performance this Friday at the Wisconsin Union Theater, but it's guaranteed to be a memorable show. Along for the ride will be Michael Kosta, also a Daily Show correspondent (and "ex-professional tennis player," his bio inexplicably notes) whose material might be a little less topical in comparison, but is no less the work of a comedy craftsman. —Chris Lay

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