After more than a decade on the comedy circuit, gathering a loyal and ever increasing following along the way, Reginald D Hunter finally graced the famous Liverpool Philharmonic Hall stage last week with his show, ‘Sometimes Even The Devil Tells The Truth’. Stand up Jake Mills reviews.
After sneaking onto the stage without an introduction, many were left confused when people began to clap. It is this humbleness which makes Reg such a unique character. He began the show with a statement, “TV is just business. This is art”. It was quite clear that Reg wanted to leave no lines blurred; ‘TV Reg’ is totally different to ‘Stage Reg’. The full Philharmonic Hall, made up of varied age groups, was filled with anticipation.
Hunter explained to the audience that his main love is science and how he is in fact a scientist, purely funded by comedy. The joke got laughs but as he went on to talk about his theories on the human mind and life as a paradox, it was clear that this wasn’t as much of a joke as first believed. Without the jokes, the show wouldn’t have been too out of place at a university lecture.
Of course there were plenty of jokes throughout the hour-long show and, unsurprisingly, many of them provoked gasps, winces and tears. Hunter talked about his childhood back home in Georgia, his father’s role in opening up his scientific frame of mind and his mother’s discipline techniques, especially when he got “dangerously mixed up with sarcasm” as a teenager.
There was plenty of audience participation too, with Hunter putting questions to the crowd. Even if the staff ignored 5 out of 6 requests by him to turn on the house lights, it helped keep the audience on his side when his thoughts and feeling may have bit slightly heavy for a comedy show.
The show was jam packed with references and topics across the spectrum. From sex, to science, to being offended by England’s lack of late night food (apart from beans on toast!). Mixed that with genuinely thought provoking ideas and opinions, it felt very different to any comedy shows people may be used to watching.
Hunter ended his show by talking about his reasoning of the London Riots. He explained how our value systems, morals and thoughts are not often our own. He spoke about the anger that many young people have, not actually being their anger but an anger that has been passed onto them. His words were powerful and, sadly, too true. He suggested that life is a paradox, that nothing is real and we are surrounded by lies. He almost appealed to people to free their minds, do what they want and not be fooled by propaganda.
There was no sense of trying to impress. In fact, Hunter’s bravery to put his neck on the line was to be applauded. There was a genuine message behind everything he said, when the laughter faded, a thought lingered.
The show may not have been the funniest I’ve ever seen, nor was it the funniest Reginald D Hunter has ever been, but it was one of the cleverest. There was an overwhelming sense of pride that Hunter was taking his chance. He didn’t have to answer to any TV producers or comedy club managers, this was his chance to be who is really is, no pretending. It’s something which is a rarity in a showbiz world.
Reginald D Hunter has worked on the circuit for more then a decade and there is no sign of him ever stopping.