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Roy Wood Jr. (multiple showtimes, through Feb. 23)

  • Comedy Club on State 202 State Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

The Daily Show correspondent performs behind an incisive, slyly political new album. Info/tix


Of the current cohort of Daily Show correspondents, Roy Wood Jr. and Dulcé Sloan have perhaps the strongest identities as stand-up comics outside of the show, both with acts that express a relentlessly honed sense of where they stand  in this world. Sloan visited Madison in December, and now Wood returns behind his 2019 album and Comedy Central special No One Loves You. Wood is a bit more the beleaguered everyman, but always keenly aware of what it means to be a black everyman in America. The tracklisting of No One Loves You reads like a series of normal-middle-American-dude opinions: "Love The Anthem," "Love The Police," "Love McDonald's."

But Wood often uses the incisiveness and misdirection of a veteran stand-up to cut to the perverse heart of these subjects. On the track "Love Snitching," for instance, Wood suggests that we should encourage dirty cops to rat each other out by paying them more. I can't endorse that but I can't deny that Wood makes it funny by focusing on how incentives drive human behavior: "Ain't no brotherhood in a job that pay you a real wage! People snitch left and right. You ever notice doctors don't stick together...It ain't a bunch of other doctors in the emergency room talkin' about 'Real doctors don't snitch on other doctors.' No! 'That n____ chopped off the leg, come get his ass!'" He walks that line between politics and straightforward observational comedy all across this record, keeping the audience just uncomfortable enough that the punchlines come with a masterful dose of relief. —Scott Gordon

Earlier Event: February 22
I Am Cuba (free)
Later Event: February 22
Tippy, Mr. Jackson, Cop Circles