Comedian Damon Wayans covered all kinds of subjects Thursday night in the Avalon Ballroom of the Niagara Fallsview Casino, but he maintained one common theme -- keeping the audience howling with laughter.
A veteran of sketch shows such as "In Living Color" and "Saturday Night Live," prominent member of the comedic Wayans family and star of the sitcom "My Wife and Kids," Damon Wayans spent more than an hour knocking the crowd back with one killer joke after another. There was seemingly no topic too taboo for Wayans, as he talked about sex, violence, culture, family, and even the mentally challenged.
Some people may find that kind of humor offensive, but most in the audience found it very, very funny.
It's clear that Wayans is not a huge fan of the Bush administration and the ongoing war on terror. The comedian contemplated the difficulty of battling a group of fighters who are not afraid to die and mocked Bush about his inability to find Osama bin Laden despite the terrorist's regular television appearances. Wayans also joked about the sheer ridiculousness of the demands of some terrorists.
"I'll tell you what we want," said Wayans, playing the role of your average terrorist. "We want 7-Eleven open from 8 to 12!"
Wayans did not shy away from commentating on the current state of black culture, mocking hip-hop acts who swear, glorify violence and come with entourages so big even Wayans couldn't pick the star out of the group.
"Whatcha gonna do when you get up in the club and they don't give you love?" joked Wayans of 50 Cent's song "In Da Club." "You gotta fight? No, man, you just go to another club."
With his 45th birthday later this year, Wayans reflected on staying healthy, as "I don't want to give death options on how to take me out." Still, he talked about the one thing that makes every man cringe when they reach their 40s -- a prostate exam.
"It's just so degrading," he said. "It's like something that would happen to you in prison, but you have to make an appointment and pay the man after it's over."
Wayans instead wanted to become a gynecologist when he grew up, imagining a client list that included Jennifer Lopez and Halle Berry.
The set would often get raunchier than that by the end of the night, as jokes about bedroom activities and use of Viagra ventured far beyond the realm of an all-ages newspaper review.
Wil Sylvance, another black comedian, had a solid opening act and warmed up the audience well. He mostly riffed on air travel and the weather, mocking "losers" who continue to watch the Weather Channel for hours at a time for reports on hurricanes.
"Hurricane Steve was here; he killed 27 people," he said. "They never name hurricanes after black people. 'Hurricane Hakeem was here; he didn't kill anybody, but damn it, there are a lot of VCRs missing.'"