Tue | Jul 16, 2019

‘Ghetto Misfits’ a hilarious encounter

Published:Wednesday | June 19, 2019 | 12:29 AMMarcia Rowe/Gleaner Writer

When two of Jamaica’s funniest stand-up comedians joined forces on one show, the expectations are high, and rightly so. On Sunday, Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis, and his brother, Ian, ‘Ity’, delivered more than the expected. From their tear-jerking childhood tales, to a satirical and comedic look at songs and public figures, the overflowing Courtleigh Auditorium, in New Kingston was fully mesmerised.

The Ellis brothers appeared in the second half of the show, and the younger Ity was first up. He started the show with a series of satire on current events – the Reggae Girlz and obeah; Mackerel and The STAR received brief but sharp and clinical treatment, before he went off to his burlesques on the songs of Beres Hammond and John Legend, which were his targets.

He segued into a childhood fraught with humour and contradictions. With some actions to support stories of his childhood, he demonstrated his fear of the dark, and faked fights. However, it was in role playing his stepfather that the most tears of laughter flowed. The stepfather whose moments of sobriety was anchored in having a son who could read the newspaper, was more proud of his stepson’s ability to read than handling a gun. And while it was Father’s Day, stories of his mother were also served. She was very proud of her son who, by passing his Common Entrance Examination, had “her name, not his,” the comedian emphasised, published in The Gleaner. This highlighted the name of the show, as their childhood did not fit that of stereotypical ‘ghetto’ children. They did not get into fights, they loved to read, and was focused on their education.

Older brother Owen’s stories about his childhood were just as tear-jerking, and at times very sobering, too. “I know who I am,” he began, before making fun of Ity’s tight-fitting “sheet set” pants. Then on to sharing lessons learnt from a dysfunctional household led by Aunt Becka, who “feed mi good and beat mi hard”, and his absentee parents.

He advised the fathers, “I want to say to all the fathers, whether you are stepfather or babyfather, or god-father, is a gift you have. You got a divine gift from God to be a child’s father, do it well, and do it good. If you don’t know how, find a mentor.”

There were also performances from Pretty Boy Floyd, a splendid display of vocal talent form EzranAshbourne, winner of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission Children’s Gospel Song Competition; Anthony Malvo, and a cameo from Fancy Cat and emcee Kathy Grant.

The audience thoroughly enjoyed every moment. Diana Shakes thought the show was full of fun. “It was great! What they did was to bring something comedic to reality.”

Funds from Ghetto Misfits will go towards a foundation not just for nation-building, but for transformation, and helping more ‘misfits’ from the ‘ghetto’.