The Gospel According to Reginald D Hunter

According to our Newspaper Entertainment Editor Reginald D. Hunter is the epitomie of cool. Here’s how she found his stand-up tour.

I made an error on the night of Wednesday 20th November, a dreadful error that I’m sure will haunt me for years to come. Instead of remaining calm and collected, poised and ready to meet a true comedic legend, I completely fan-girled over Reginald D Hunter. The man is the embodiment of ‘cool’, and I was most definitely not.

If you’ve heard of Hunter at all, it’s probably for all the wrong reasons, especially after the stir he created in recent months for his choice of words at a gala for Professional Footballer’s Association.

So, although it obviously pained him to do so, he started his set by giving his own disclaimers about his controversial word choices to avoid any further marks on his record. Sure, the ‘N’-word was commonly used, but never malevolently. In this opening pause from humour, Hunter was clearly making a comment on the nature of stand-up comedy and even society today: you can say whatever you want, as long as it’s completely impartial, painfully polite and what everyone else wants to hear.

On with his set and he gave us perhaps his most personal stand-up material to date, stood in his warm winter gilet, his hands in his pockets, chuckling quietly to himself. We saw the usual one liners intertwined with what felt like the ‘gospel according to Hunter’ in his anecdotes that steered away from comedy and dealt with his views on life. From time to time, he would break away from the regular format and raise the lights to ask the audience the most personal questions possible. These ‘confessional sessions’ made for some surprising revelations as the audience seemed bizarrely at ease with giving away their secrets.

It’s not all laugh out loud humour; Hunter’s ‘jokes’ do tackle challenging topics such as unwanted sex, infidelity and death that shouldn’t be humourous, but he tells them in such a way that, strangely, it’s okay to laugh. “I choose subject matters that are inherently controversial”, he stated before ending with an anecdote so outrageous, he admitted that it had ended one of his lifelong friendships. But to ease our apprehension he added, “I don’t like doing this material, but it’s necessary… and it’s excellent”.

It’s also definitely worth mentioning Hunter’s warm up act, and rising star in comedy, Mr Pete Johansson, a Canadian comic who loves to talk about bears; 15 whole minutes on why we need bears in the UK and he still had the audience craving more when he left the stage. Why is it the police don’t have bears here exactly? But when he wasn’t wrapped up in the thought of giant grizzlys roaming the streets, he took the time to tell some crowd pleasing British jokes. Somehow we love it when we’re mocked. Poke fun at our nation and we’ll laugh out loud and applaud you for it. A great talent that I recommend you go and see.

After the show, the comics appeared at the stage door to meet and chat briefly to their fans and myself, a star struck ‘reporter’ who just wanted a photo with them both. Embarrassing? Yes, but at least we got one thing cleared up: what about that beard? “I’m just going through a little phase”.


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