Laff Tracks: Big Laffs in Bite Sized Packages

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Founded on a simple yet innovative concept, Laff Mobb’s Laff Tracks’ blending of stand-up and sketch is refreshing and fun to watch.  Amateur comedians have engaged in similar practices, reenacting jokes of famous comics, and they are quite humorous (Take a look at Woody the Great’s rendition of Kevin Hart Cussing Out His Teacher).  Because of their budget as well as executive producer Bob Sumner’s extensive connection to the greatest comedic talent in the business, Laff Tracks takes the genre to the next level with extremely gifted comedians, actors, and costume and set designers. 

Host DJ Cipha Sounds welcomes the latest comedians to perform their material in front of an intimate audience in what appears to be a small nightclub.  At-home viewers witness cuts from the comedian voicing their bits to sketches that bring the comic’s stories to life. The vision of the comic meets that of the director of the sketch, resulting in hilarious narratives enhanced by the inclusion of props, scenes, and gestures.

Each episode is 25 minutes and consists of several narrativized bits that typically run between one and three minutes.  It’s compact nature makes this medium great for when you need a quick, yet hearty laugh, but don’t have the time to dedicate to an entire one-hour special.  Or it can be used as a sampler; you are introduced to a variety of comedians from all backgrounds and can further explore their material based on whether or not you enjoyed their laff track.

It is important to point out that the duration of each bit is not a reflection of the detail within.  The creators go beyond the actual “words” to bring the entire world of the joke to life. In one of my favorite laff tracks, Grandma Patrol, Mark Viera tells the audience about the severity of his grandmother’s noseyness.  When she is portrayed, the set designers decorate her home with a crucifix on the wall, and old furniture.  She is also seen walking through her apartment swatting insects with her fly swatter. None of this is verbally expressed by Viera in his joke.  However, the visual works so well to enhance the spoken. This is the beauty of the show.

In addition to the collaboration of the verbal and the visual is the inclusion of so many up-and-coming comedians. One of its strengths is that it provides a platform for a large number of women of color including, Aida Rodriguez, Alicya Cooper, and Yamaneika.  While almost all of them are guaranteed to make you laugh, I have compiled a list, in no particular order, of some of my favorite Laff Tracks.

Meeting Your Stalker –  Ron G.

My Mom Wants to be Black – Rachel Feinstein

When People Question Your Ability to be a Good Mother – Meshelle

The Dark Side of Being Petty – Hot Sauce Glover

Favorite Type of Cat Call – Ayanna Dookie

Not My Roaches – Smokey Suarez

How to Cheat Responsibly – Tyree Elaine

A Beeper Nightmare – Mark Viera

Going Out with White People – Fatimah Taliah

When Your Friends Get You Drunk – Red Grant

MJ VanDevere

MJ VanDevere is a doctoral candidate at a predominately white elite institution in the South who uses humor to combat racism, sexism, and all the other –isms that seek to diminish her greatness. She is a self-proclaimed “stand-up snob” who does not have a favorite comedian, so please don't ask unless you have several hours to spare. Some of her favorite movies include, Life, Dead Presidents, and Happy Feet. If, she could only do one thing for the rest of her life, it would definitely be laugh, and maybe write. Adulting is her greatest work in progress.

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