The world is a magical place. For all the drawbacks that come along with the mammoth beast known as social media, for example, it does provide opportunities that were once virtually impossible, and that often introduces us to some of our favorite things–things that we may have otherwise never even discovered.
I’ve never met Dwight Simmons. I frankly have not really heard much about him to be able to report any worthy information to you. But at some point in time, (December, Facebook tells me) I did a search to find out if anybody on my friends list had any albums out that they needed help plugging. Dwight and I weren’t even Facebook friends yet, but he showed up on there somehow nonetheless, so I added him as a friend, and his album to an an expanding playlist I was putting together on Spotify.
If not for Facebook, I might have had to wait until Mr. Simmons became famous before I had found out about him, but now I get to brag about finding out about him before he blew up, and that’s a pretty magical feeling, as I have just completed a listening of his solidly titled comedy album, Pacifist Aggressive, and not only am I an instant fan, but I am blown away by his comedy prowess, and equally floored by the fact that I haven’t really heard any other comics talking about this guy. Remember this name. Before long, you won’t have much choice anyway.
One thing is immediately evident upon hearing Dwight Simmons for the first time: He is extremely likable and easy going. He leads things off by talking about his family, public transportation, and Alcoholic’s Anonymous, among other things–telling us about a pimp he encountered at an AA meeting, on the latter subject (on “Once A Pimp”).
On “Poor Halloween”, Dwight talks about the makeshift costumes his mother would put together, on what turned out to be a rather ghetto holiday for him. His manner stays chill, but he adds an enviable confidence to his flavor that make even unpopular topics resonate with audiences. The crowd doesn’t seem fully on board as he mildly disses Marilyn Monroe on “Ida vs. Marilyn”, but that confidence (along with a high level of intelligence and top shelf writing) win out, as he schools them on the fact that nobody knows who Ida B. Wells is, in spite of all her accomplishments, but that “if you fuck a Kennedy, basic bitches will quote you on their Instagram pages forever.”, citing her famous quote about handling her at her worst, which he masterfully calls back to on more than one occasion.
Simmons is the rare talent that can maintain cultural diversity, while also displaying vulnerability, and his nerdy side, along with a boldness (“Cosby’s Drug Dealer”; “Bigotry Is a Choice”–in which he imagines, first person, what it would be like if bigots didn’t have the ability to evolve) and infinitely unique perspective that makes him as close to universally accessible as one could hope for. The sound on the recording is not the strongest, but the material is undeniably awesome, refreshing, and every joke hits. Seriously. All of them.
Another highlight is “Keurig”, wherein Simmons talks about that brand’s coffeemaker being the loneliest kitchen appliance on the market, noting that they only offer a single serving size: “How caffeinated do you want, to be alone for the rest of the day?”, he quips.
I would be here forever if I told you all of my favorite parts, but I do feel the need to mention two more moments that really stood out to me: “Yoga pants are like the white woman’s weave”, he says on “Creepy Ageism”, and on “Whitest Black Guy”, he talks about how being the whitest black guy ever (as his white friends refer to him as) has no benefit. “If I get pulled over by the police, I still look like a black black guy.”
There’s not really much more to add here, other than that I didn’t find any of the bits to be weak, easy, safe, or shortsighted, and nothing fell flat. There’s honestly not a dull moment to be found, which is really impressive, and hard to do when telling jokes for an extended amount of time.
I for one, think that this fine stand up has all the potential in the world to be a household name, and I believe he’ll get there in a very short time, so do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy now. Then brag about it on Facebook.
The world is a magical place. And sky’s the limit for Dwight Simmons.