Sunday night Comedy Central and The Daily Show headed over to Central Park to put on a huge party, and it was all free. Three thousand people crammed into the Central Park Summer Stage area to hear Trevor Noah and the Daily Show correspondents perform live comedy and it was a blast. Summer Stage shows are always great, and for this one, the weather was on their side with bright blue skies kicking off the early part of the show.
Daily Show warm up comedian Angelo Lozada got the crowd excited and introduced the evenings hosts– Jordan Klepper and Desi Lydic. Both were dressed to the nines despite it being over 80 degrees even after the sun went down– Klepper was in a charcoal suit and tie and Lydic in a sequinned gown and together they introduced Ronny Chieng, Adam Lowitt, Roy Wood Jr., Michelle Wolf, and Hasan Minhaj.
The material was largely, but not exclusively political, and all of the comics got big time love from the crowd, which by the way was young, multicultural, and very enthusiastic. All the comics talked about Trump; Ronny Chieng diving in first, and then later talking about why a Chinese American President would be such a great role model. Chieng also has some great material about Americans’ odd social media habits. Adam Lowitt came out to Fiddler on the Roof’s ‘Tradition,’ killed with some great material about being Jewish, and explained why Trump seems so angry all the time. Everyone loved Michelle Wolf ‘s hilarious take on Hillary Clinton- you could easily see why Louis C.K. named her as one of his favorite comics right now, and Hasan Minhaj was pure energy, walking out to a huge pop from the crowd that only picked up as he went along. Roy Wood Jr. did a brilliant set that touched on black history museums, ship captains, and people who waste your time and is undoubtably on his way to being a comedy superstar.
To cap the night, Trevor Noah came out on stage to Rihanna’s ‘Work Work Work’, and showed New York City why he’s already an international comedy star. He covered pop culture with ease, he talked about gun control and what he called America’s “branding” problem, he riffed about the N-word at length, made a strong argument for why we currently have the coolest president ever, and crushed with a Nelson Mandela-Obama bit.
After the show fans crowded around stageside, chanting and cheering every time they got a glimpse of one of the Daily Show team, and they got quite a few. We caught Trevor, Ronny, and Roy Wood Jr. coming out to pose for selfies with giddy and screamy fans. The night was a great time. It’s not easy to perform comedy outdoors. There are distractions, there are noises, birds flying around, music floating in from the distance, and the sound of the audience dissipates in the open air. But nobody minded or even seemed to notice. A great night of comedy.