Published Jul 24, 2019On July 23, Aisha Brown became the first black Canadian comedian to tape a Crave standup comedy special.
Donning a sash and a celebratory bouquet of roses as she walked on stage at Just for Laughs, Brown was not shy about letting the audience know of this accomplishment. But, she admitted, being a "first" in anything comes with mixed emotions.
"Accomplishing a black first is a bit of a double-edged sword," she told the room at L'Astral. "I'm very hyper aware of the people who are just supporting me because I'm black. But I'm also aware of the people who want to stab me with a double-edged sword."
It's lines like this — that seem like they're going in one direction, before abruptly moving in a completely different one — that made Brown's 40-minute set stand out. The Toronto-based standup displays a cool confidence on stage as she twists and turns through this type of bit, sitting with a pregnant pause and then quickly bringing the audience to laugher by saying something outlandish.
Take one bit about her nine-year-old nephew, for example: she laments to the audience that he's so cute, he's often sexualized by strangers. People often ask her nephew how many girlfriends he has, to which her immediate thought is, "Don't put your weird heteronormative bullshit on my nephew, you don't know who he's gonna love!"
Her second thought is: "He's been in a pussy drought for nine years, so... maybe don't bring it up, okay? He's sensitive."
Beyond her memorable one-liners, Brown showed off her quick wit through rap lyricism (a talent she developed in her early comedy days performing with Toronto-based comedy rap group Runnin' at the Mouth). Over the course of her set, she pulled out rap after rap, each one more bizarre than the last, culminating in a song about sleeping with her ex-boyfriend's father (a revelation which, in true Brown fashion, isn't revealed until the end of the tune).
She's incredibly witty and exudes an admirable ease on stage. Keep an eye out for the Crave special's release, because Aisha Brown is a must-watch.