Joel Kim Booster at Schubas: You never see the laughs coming

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 05:31:22 AM. REVIEW: Joel Kim Booster at Schubas says he's 'dumb,' but his surprising and edgy comedy is anything but.
Joel Kim Booster doesn’t want to get political. As a person who gladly and openly identifies as “dumb,” the Plainfield-raised comedian feels like in these starkly divided times we’re all trying to have intense conversations far beyond our education level. “Everybody thinks they’re a … geopolitical scholar,” he laments. Still, he told the standing-room-only audience for the first of two sold-out shows in the Upstairs Lounge at Schubas on Saturday night, he does have his own feelings of disappointment with the current commander in chief: “No matter what you think about or his policies,” he said seriously, taking on a slightly conspiratorial tone, “he’s very difficult to look at.” To Booster, Trump’s visage is “like a human face, but wrong.” True to his word, Booster — dressed smartly in a red and black plaid button-up shirt and jeans — never goes political with this bit, simply confessing wistfully that “I personally miss having a hot president.” Though he insists on his own dumbness, Booster’s playfully edgy comedy is anything but. And his body of work — which includes a half hour Comedy Central special that premiered last month and an album (the cheekily titled “Model Minority”) that came out Nov. 3 — is proof of that. He almost never goes for easy punchlines, relying instead on seemingly standard setups that he then subverts with a surprise angle. When his evangelical mother complains to him about Confederate statues being torn down, he tells her that he just doesn’t care,...Read more
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