Posts tagged comedy
Comedian/Radio Host Leon Rogers sits in on the latest episode of Smoked Out Saturdaze

Stand-up comedian, actor and host of 107.5 WGCI’s “Morning Takeover” Leon Rogers sits in on the Smoked Out Couch.

Insecure S3E2: The Book Of Daniel

Lara been Croft and Daniel been... well Daniel. From viewer's first introduction to Daniel we see a confident, brash man with the world at his fingertips. As a professional music producer, Issa Dee’s natural ear for music align with his desire to create. Since insert time we are shown a Daniel who commands attention, yet his manhood took a blow. Daniel’s character on Insecure has evolved from the man Issa cheated with to insert yet his demeanor rang mysterious. “Familiar Like” explored the makings of Daniel, exposing the insecurities  beneath his (fine ass) surface.

 

An episode nuanced with references to viral memes and videos, "Familiar Like" took a different approach than we normally see from Insecure. We learn more about the insecurities haunting Daniel’s (Y'lan Noel) ego through social, familial and flirty interactions. Still playing it cool as roommates, Issa and Daniel continue to platonically exist under Daniel’s roof. Exchanging nonchalant text messages, viewers learn that Daniel has spent the past three nights with a social media-absorbed fling and lover of “light skin love”.

Issa, dealing with her own professional and personal struggles, plays keen to Daniel, pretending not to be bothered by his physical and mental absence. Their dedication to not exploring their mutual romantic feelings for each other holds strong. While the two toy with each other's (and their own) emotions, we learn that Daniel is just as awkward and insecure as Issa, and watch how her charisma and his passion balance them out. 

Daniel, invited to a club to check out an artist by his sketchy friend Seven, ultimately changed his mind. Seven, not able to attend anymore, discouraged Daniel, placing his drive on the bench. Issa convinces Daniel to go out by joining him. At the club, we would think that Daniel, a music producer (and we now know a former drug dealer) would have all of the juice yet that cup runs dry. 

Before the two enter the club, there's trouble at the door. Daniel, assuming they would gain entry on Seven's word, was denied, thus beginning his downward spiral. Issa, reconnecting with one of their childhood friends Khalil (Aaron Jennings) at the door ,got them into the club.  Inside, Daniel's solid swagger began to disintegrate. From getting approached by women only to get curved when they learn he is no longer in the weed game, and fumbling through conversation with Spyder, (Roshon Fegan) the artist he attended to see, I thought the episode would end with Daniel crying in the car. 

My pessimistic vision came partially true. After the club is shut down by gun fire, Issa and Daniel go for a late night meal where things get real. We see what makes Daniel and Issa friends beyond sex and physical attraction. Daniel reveals his professional frustrations with being an unknown Soundcloud producer. 

I ain’t trynna hate or nothing, but it’s like I got good and Khalil got famous
— Daniel

His insecurities on the table, Issa not only offers encouragement and sympathy but also solutions. Daniel's vulnerability to Issa shows his true passion for his music and the amount of weight her word means. Every step of the way, Issa had Daniel's back emotionally while he looked out for her physical well being. Issa's advice did not fall on dead ears. Daniel puts his pride on hold and reaches out to Kahlil for professional advice and possible collaboration. Shots rang out at the club, Daniel immediately scooped Issa, complaints about neck pain, he gives her a massage and offers his bed. 

Sharing multiple intimate moments this episode, the two never actually have sex. By the time it is over, viewers are just as confused by their situation as the characters themselves. Having watched Issa and Lawrence's relationship fail, the hope for Issa and Daniel is a slippery slope. In ways, Daniel is everything Issa hated about Lawrence, but now homeless and working two terrible jobs, Issa too shares these personal and professional gripes. As Issa continues to stay on Daniel's couch, will their relationship blossom? 

Elsewhere, episode two continues to explore the dangers of We Got Yall as Issa seems to be near breaking point as the token black women at work. Called on to call-out the companies problematic ways by her non-black co-workers, Issa explains how awkward it is to be expected to perform "angry black woman" on cue. 

Hopefully episode three involves professional growth for Issa, clear and precise communication between Daniel and Issa and of course, more Kelli. 

#TeamKelli

Kelli (Natasha Rothwell) is Issa's "tell it like it is friend" who never holds back. A financial advisor, Issa seeks Kelli's advice and guidance as she continues her search for a place to live.  Kelli, who is not only good at her job but a good friend, advises Issa to halt frivolous spending and ultimately pushes her to ask Daniel to stay longer.  Kelli keeps Issa in necessary check. Her aggressive demeanor is cloaked with kindness and humor, leaving Issa with some serious advice. 

Kelli: Don’t look a gift horse in the dick.
Issa: That’s not a saying.
Kelli: It is. My grandmother said it to me.
Insecure S3E1: Who’s Couch Is It Anyway?

Insecure season three kicked off "Better-Like" in a manner only main character Issa (Issa Rae) and her antics could. By exploring the ups and downs of adulthood, Insecure shares situations that many have been in but few will speak on; the multidimensional, all around flawed nature of characters allows the audience to engage honestly, often times exposing ourselves through the messy lives being played out on screen. The season picks up where season two left off, giving viewers a glimpse of the continuing saga of Issa's love life, along with a deeper look at the toxic nature of white saviors through the exposure of her non-profit gig We Got Y'all, and we're also introduced to the show within a show, KEV-YN - a modern reboot of a 90s sitcom.

The situationships between Issa and Daniel (Y'lan Noel), along with Molly (Y'vonne Orji) and Dro (Sarunas J. Jackson) attempt to stride towards growth by setting boundaries, yet unclear communication paired with controlling, manipulative behavior creates chaos for all four parties. While a common theme seems to be controlling your own narrative and setting boundaries, Issa, Molly, Dro and Daniel all struggle to fully take charge.

Residing on the couch of her former fling Daniel, Issa’s continues to pile up L's. The season opens with Daniel having sex with a brown skin woman presumed to be Issa until it's made aware that our favorite awkward Black girl was only listening from the living room sofa. As the sex gets even louder we learn Issa is now a Lyft driver as she leaves the house to earn money on the side. Her status at We Got Yall has downgraded from in the field to on the phone. While Issa is both romantically and professionally spiraling downward, BFF Molly has everything in order, from the outside looking in.

Getting wined and dined by vacation bae, and multiple men in triple text territory, Molly’s hoetation is unphased. While she seems to enjoy dick on-demand and professional achievements, her mask is removed and the result is not dewy skin. Both Issa and Molly refuse to acknowledge the feelings they harbor for the men in their life.

“I just think we know better” mutters Issa after refusing a kiss from Daniel. An intimate conversation left Issa facing questions from Daniel and no amount of deflection could save her. Confronted with the fact that she could have stayed elsewhere yet found refuge in his living room, Issa retorts to simply stating she needed a place to stay.  Instead of discussing why she felt his space was where she needed to be (beyond being close to work) Issa creates a reason to leave the room. While Issa shies away from verbally expressing what she really wants from Daniel, Molly is clear with her intentions with Dro but, do their results differ?

Back in California from a tropical vacation, Molly returns on some self-proclaimed, “know better, do better shit”, yet when it comes to Dro, the tables turn. Molly attempts to establish clear boundaries with Dro, who still in his “open marriage” and takes the top spot in her hoetation.

After a long night of steamy sex, Molly’s “bloop, blip, blap, blam” mindset seems to kick in. An offer to cook breakfast interrupted by a phone call from his wife Candace, Dro (who acknowledges Molly to his wife, seemingly confirming the open relationship) continues with his proposal of a pancake breakfast.

We need to decide whether we are friends who don’t have sex or acquaintances who just have sex. - Molly

The lightbulb in Molly’s head went off as the decision was made to continue to have sex and cease other interaction; she immediately put Dro out. While this power move in reclaiming her vagina monologue seems to have boosted Molly’s confidence, those words were not followed with action. Despite laying down rules of no texts, no calls, no dates, Molly doesn't hesitate to communicate with Dro. Her desire to exist as a carefree sexual being is drowned by a flood of sensitivity.

Issa and Molly navigate themselves on opposite sides of the same road accompanied by dim street lights and echoes of silence.  They both vocalize what they think they should want only to be haunted by their inner desires and it shows. Molly believes she has developed the fortitude to break the emotional ties of a “fuck-buddy" while Issa thinks pretending feelings do not exist will actually cause them to fade away.

The flawed existence of Issa and Molly do not excuse the trash demeanor of their male counterparts. Both men exploit the feelings Issa and Molly with shrewd behavior.

Daniel is taking the Future route, adding to his collection, parading his sex life in front of Issa instead of clarifying his sentiments. Getting the heads up from her roommate Daniel about his company, Issa decides to command a “Party Lyft” with Molly riding shotgun. Armed with Capri-Suns and a playlist featuring City Girls and Cardi B, the two meet some of Los Angeles’s most interesting characters.

Like most good parties all vibes come to an end often violently. While Issa and Molly text men they claim not to care about, a fight breaks out in the back of Issa’s sedan between her ride-share passengers. As the night passes, Issa finds her way back to Daniel’s couch where still confused by Issa’s unclear motives again challenges her to just be real.

You said you that you came because you wanted to be close to your job now you’re telling me that you got feelings n’shit so like what is it?...I’m confused.” - Daniel

”Both N*gga I don’t know - Issa

Although admitting she still has romantic feelings for Daniel, Issa again refuses to fully unpack her emotional baggage, relying on the strength of their former platonic friendship to carry them to peace.

Molly’s attempts of keeping their relationship to bedroom meetings only struggles to succeed when faced with Dro’s manipulative behavior.  Undeterred by new rules, Dro uses his own key to Molly’s place to let himself in, claiming she was not answering. A surprised Molly emerges from the bathroom, flirting with Dro, even kissing him, however a sign of hope prevails as she demands he return her key.  In a perfect world, the key would have been handed over, yet Dro reaches into his contriving card deck and flips over a jester. With Molly standing firm in her decision, he returns the key after advocating against it, even telling Molly he and his wife are not her business, and hesitantly leaves.

#TeamNathan

All of the characters need to not only decide what they want, but learn how to be honest with themselves and others. After week one, I’m not #TeamIssa, #TeamMolly or even #Team Lawrence.  My allegiance lies with Nathan (Kendrick Sampson). A transplant to Los Angeles with a southern accent, Nathan allows both Molly and Issa to change his destination, sparking a genuine sense of curiosity. Laughing about how the girls picked him up because he was fine, Nathan became the life of the “Party Lyft.” The next customer however had a different night planned.

Entering the car, he complained about the flavor of Capri-Sun offered by Issa and began to roll a blunt and proceed to smoke. When told by both Molly and Issa that the Party Lyft was a smoke-free occasion, the confrontational rider continued his anti behavior. Nathan decided to take the blunt and throw it out the window. This bold behavior lead to the aforementioned fight where Nathan left the guy in pretty bad shape. We later learn that Nathan tipped $50 for the Lyft ride. Hopefully his mysterious charm makes more appearances this season.

Random Acts of Podcast Ep.175: Devin Choosin

On this weeks episode of @RAOPodcast, @Ampaveli & @DevinDavinci bring on @__QNSx @GuchiTwirlsEm  @KingWilcox912 and chop it up about dating in the social media era, the internet turning on Tiffany Haddish, women getting Trains ran on them and a ton more other topics.

Rico's Playhouse: "How Ciara Boujee But Was Wearing G-Unit Sneakers"

This Week in the Playhouse we are joined by @marcuskincy and @ohh_harmon where we discussed an array of topics such as Monique vs Netflix, the Tragic Death of Fredo Santana, Lean abuse, and Ciara forgetting where she came from. So sit back relax and enjoy Rico's Playhouse.

 

Random Acts of Podcast Ep.166: "RIP Bourbon Ball Ben"

In this weeks episode of RAOP, after a weeks hiatus we bring Eric back onto the podcast. And we chop it up about the upcoming NFL Playoff games, cooking on the 1st date, women's reactions to men showing emotions, Eric's terrible taste in women and a ton more other topics. Also we answer questions from our listeners. Remember to send in your listener questions, #TheyNeedTheirAssBeat or #RealNiggaOfTheWeek submissions, email us at MAIL@RAOPodcast.com or call 424-260-RAOP to leave a voicemail.