Saturday, February 7, 2015

J.B. Smoove Reins It In

Catching comedian J.B. Smoove’s appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman on February 4, I found it interesting how this very physical comedian whose movements on stage are broad and big, adapted to being a seated guest on a late night talk show.

J.B. Smoove’s interactions with Letterman were still more physical than verbal – again, interesting, because Smoove is also very talkative as a performer. Paying tribute to Letterman because of his upcoming retirement, Smoove told Dave that he needed to strike a pose befitting his status as an icon, setting Letterman up nicely – he leaned back in his chair, arms behind his head, a “what me worry?” grin on his face and raised a blurred middle finger.

Smoove is no newbie either, and these two old pros were riffing and improvising within the physical limitations of staying seated. Smoove responded that he never wanted to be looking directly at the camera, striking a thoughtful pose of his own, then hitting on another bit of physical comedy.

“I just wanna be pointing things out,” Smoove said, stretching his arm out toward stage right, “like I’m on the grassy knoll. Something ain’t right over there!” Letterman chuckled in recognition in this surreal bit of humor that Smoove generated.