by Laura Ferguson
I admit, I went to this show tonight on the recommendation of someone else as I was not familiar with Frickin’ Dangerous Bro, being the network TV Grinch that I am. I had no idea that it was a comedy sketch show! (I know, I know, I could have at least read the show blurb, but that would have ruined my surprise.) I am quite partial to comedy sketch shows and this one mixed my love of social commentary with continuous, raucous laughter.
Humble starts off with a gavel bang in a skit about racial dissonance. Assadi, Roque and Ross do a fabulous job with leaping straight into a skit, pre-introduction, throwing us right into the mix of things. The sketch bitingly tears the expectations of race, lathering us with stereotypes and frothing with a bubbling hilarity. The laughter echoes around the room and we know we’re in for a fantastic time.
As Frickin’ Dangerous Bro introduce themselves, it becomes obvious that the comedy will not only come from the sketches but from the chemistry between the three performers. Assadi and Ross roast Roque for a handshake gone wrong in the earlier skit. They kid around with each other in a way that is entirely relatable, but their quick wit elevates the banter to heights a comedy screenwriter would envy. These are some of my favourite moments as they happen organically, giving Humble a fun repeatability.
Even when these moments fall flat, the three are able to revive them, even if they don’t realise it. At the start of one sketch, while the other two are backstage, Ross asks us ‘How do you like the dead body I made?’ This is met with amused but lukewarm murmuring and Ross hurries the show along, but later when Assadi asks, ‘How did you like Jamaine’s dead body?’, Ross replies, ‘Nah, I already did that... It didn’t go over well.’ Assadi’s teasing chortles have we audience members cracking up, the laughter ramping even more as Ross looks at us like, “Oh, THAT you find funny?”
The sketches are on a scale of ‘a little’ to ‘very’ on the frickin’-dangerous-o-meter. Each has the capacity for offense if misunderstood, but offending is never Humble’s intention, though racial stereotypes, terrorism, anti-immigration laws and murder are just some of the topics covered in the show. The terrorism one even comes with a trigger warning beforehand. However, as the taste level is more Four Lions rather than Team America, the warning is more formality than truly offensive.
My favourite part of the show is the micro-sketches. Despite Assadi claiming the self-burn descriptor that they are filler pieces, I really enjoyed them. The quick, bite-sized skits prove that sometimes three sentences is all you need to make an audience laugh. Sometimes you don’t even need words; a sound will suffice. Whether it is a Power Rangers reference, or a teppanyaki chef or a mention of Nesian Mystic, Frickin’ Dangerous Bro know how to make their audiences laugh easily even when changing direction every thirty seconds.
Humble feels current and exciting, the kind of show that is able to pick up any fresh news as it comes along. One of the longer sketches even gains new relevance with the advent of Kanye West’s new single and the scat in it. I laughed so hard at that, I may have even leaked a tear or two. Assadi, Roque and Ross gave incredible performances and the stage presence of these Frickin’ Dangerous Bro’s alone was enough to have me in stitches. I may not for the constitution to embody the adjective, but I’m so glad I was able to hol’ up, sit down and enjoy Humble.
Humble by Frickin’ Dangerous Bro is SOLD OUT for the remainder of its run in Wellington, but you can catch many other great Comedy Festival shows here.