Hot Hot Comedy
Boisterous, persistent, and funny as hell, David Jolly is a man about town.
Who is that comedian slow-grinding for the audience during someone else’s set? None other than David Jolly.
On Tuesday, March 23, Barak Amen was the headliner at the All Jokes Aside comedy showcase at Night Shade Lounge, one of the hottest mikes in town. During the latter half of Barak’s set, the DJ played some R-n-B as part of the set and suddenly Jolly sauntered up in front of the audience and performed his sultry dance. His antics didn’t detract. His timing is impeccable.
Jolly’s set is a work in progress, and he is steadily chiseling away at it to get it into the shape he wants.
He wakes up at 3 a.m. to get to work on time (the bus route is unfriendly). At night he hits the open mikes (he says four mikes per week) and gets up the next day to do it all over
again. If that sounds like a lot, reconsider. Jolly is boundless in his pursuit of the funny, not only delivering comedy but personifying it with every interaction.
For our interview, me and Jolly sat down for some curry chicken at Jam-Eng Caribbean Cuisine at the corner of Orlando and Washington. By our meet-up time of 7 p.m., he was deep into a day of revelry, and I was way behind. But it took me only a few minutes to catch up, with no assistance except for Jolly’s infectious energy. The interview was more joyride than standard Q&A. We ate food. We went for a walk though downtown. We visited with his friend Eddie K. We laughed a lot.
Jolly didn’t let down for one second.
We talked about his time in jail (he was released a few months ago). We talked about the jokes he wrote while he was locked up (a storehouse he’s still pulling from at open mikes). We talked about
cancel culture and the fall of Louis CK. We talked about how he got his start in comedy in 2016.
Five years ago, Jolly accompanied his friend Ross McCoy on the Tom and Dan Show. He was there to support his friend, not to make a show of himself. But the thing with Jolly is that since he lives and breathes funny stuff, there was no way he could hide his light under a bushel. He had to let it shine. And the audience took to him.
Right then and there, Jolly was addicted. He performed his first set at The Smiling Bison. Open mikes became his nightlife. He began studying other local comedians, like Rauce Padgett, Ken Miller, and Marcus Crespo.
He’s gotten a lot of support on this journey. He cites Kermit Gonzalez and Ken Miller as mentors. But at the end of the day, Jolly knows his success is in his own hands.
“Most comedians that you meet are not going to do what it takes to become successful. Young comedians come up to me and say, ‘Hey man, this is what I want to do.’ But so many comedians that I know that dropped off from when I first started.”
Jolly does not intend to be one of those.
If you’re looking for some laughs, Jolly frequents the following open mikes: Mondays at 9 p.m., Harry Buffalo; Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m., Bull & Bush; plus the All Jokes Aside showcase Tuesdays at 9 p.m., Night Shade Lounge; and the Shit Sandwich showcase at Bull & Bush, 9 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of the month.
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