Vincies laughed ‘til dey belly buss’

Two top Vincentian comedians held an appreciative audience in stitches Friday evening as the Brooklyn-based Marriaqua Secondary School/St. Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua (MSS/SJCM) Alumni Association of North America held the first ever Vincentian-produced comedy show in New York.

Montreal-based Earl “Ole George” Daniel and Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines-based Maurice Horne exceeded high expectations with their historic performances at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center, a popular venue for most Vincentian social activities in Brooklyn.

It was the first time that both comedians performed before a very critical Vincentian audience in the Big Apple.

Patrons laughed “til dey belly buss,” as Daniel and Horne, the featured artistes, unloaded selections from their wide repertoire in the group’s maiden “Night of Comedy and Laughter.”

“The two main featured comedians did not disappoint the crowd with their high standard of comedy that had the crowd rolling with laughter,” Kenroy “Kenny” Browne, president of MSS/SJCM Alumni Association of North America, told Caribbean Life afterwards.

“The feedback of the show has been positive, with a few rooms for improvements here and there,” he added. “What I liked also about the show is that it was family-friendly. We had a good mixture of the young and older folks in attendance.

“The show has such positive response that folks are asking if we are going to have another comedy show in the summer,” continued Browne, who also tried some comedic acts. “However, we are hoping to make this comedy show an annual event, once we have a good slate of comedians lined up that carry the show.”

Janet Wyllie, the group’s general secretary, also said that patrons were very delighted with the production.

“One guest said he was quite pleased, and the type of event made it a great segue from what other organizations are doing,” she said. “The committee itself, having no experience in this type of event and being one of the fairly new organizations in the community, was quite happy with the turnout and the way the show flowed.”

The show also featured two other segments: “Battle of the Sexes” and “If you Think You Funny – Apollo Style.”

In “Battle of the Sexes,” patrons gave answers to questions posed by Master of Ceremonies Allan “Tom” Doyle, owner of San Souci Studio in Brooklyn, and Victoria Wyllie-Rabel, the group’s treasurer. The answers did not have to make sense but were expected to be funny.

In the other segment, members of the audience were invited on stage to give a joke and, if he or she was not funny, he or she was pulled off the stage.

“The audience participation piece was well received and enjoyed by most, especially Ms. Joanne Legair (a Vincentian community worker), who had them laughing their belly’s full,” Janet Wyllie said.

Before performing, Legair told the crowd: “I came here, so I can feel better, because Gailene was my close friend.”

Gailene Windsor, a St. Vincent and the Grenadines Sports Ambassador and community activist, who resided in Brooklyn before returning home permanently over two years ago, was found dead in her home last Thursday.

Sherill-Ann Haywood, chairperson of the Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Diaspora Committee of New York, Inc., said her group, of which Windsor was a foundational member, is planning a memorial service in Windsor’s honor.

Howie Prince, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Consul General to New York, also requested that members of the Vincentian community inform him and members of the Diaspora Committee of their interest in attending Windsor’s funeral at home, so the necessary arrangements could be made with Caribbean Airlines.

Besides Legair, Prince and Brooklyn resident Karitha Lewis, formerly of Old Montrose, Kingstown, were given prizes for participating in “If you Think You Funny – Apollo Style.”

Horne and Daniel said they were very happy with their debut performances in New York.

“I grabbed the opportunity with both hands,” said Horne, who also hosts a Sunday program, “Sentimental Sunday,” on Magic Radio, 103.7 FM in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “The show was very well received.

“Comedy of this kind is new to this venue, and I want to thank the guys (organizers) for putting this together,” he told Caribbean Life. “The show really went down well. I love the response from the audience.”

Daniel, who resides in City of Lachime in Montreal, lauded MSS/SJCM Alumni Association of North America for its “excellent” organizational skills.

“Those guys did a great job in organizing,” he said. “I love the way they put things together. For an organization, just two years old, they produced a quality show. They set a standard for other organizations to follow.

“It was heart-warming to see so many people show up on a Friday night,” he added. “It was a welcome stress reliever. We need to have more of that (comedy show) and less stress.”

Browne said he was “very pleased” with the attendance, adding also that the segments were “well received.”

He said proceeds from the event and two other forthcoming ones – a BBQ and Annual Dance – will go towards helping the group’s alma mater in upgrading its library, laboratory and Home Economics Center.

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