Reginald D Hunter – 'I'm amazed they still let me do comedy'
UK-based American stand-up tackles racists on Twitter and the orange man in the White House with his latest touring extravaganza
American comedians are in something of a bind right now. How do they tackle the calamity that has recently befallen their nation while actually having something new to say about the matter? While folk on that side of the pond are dealing with cuts to everything from the arts to environmental safeguards while chatter about building that wall keeps on running, how can a stand-up deliver killer Trump routines when the orange man himself continues to be laugh-out-loud unfunny?
The latest US comic to have this problem is the UK-based Georgian, Reginald D Hunter. 'My new show was mostly written last autumn,' he recalls. 'Then Trump got elected and I had to rewrite it very quickly. I spent the whole of 2016 repeatedly telling people that Trump was not going to win. I'm amazed they still let me do comedy.'
For his new touring show, Some People v. Reginald D Hunter, the comedian will be tackling subjects such as family, relationships and the OJ Simpson case. 'It was the pivotal moment in race relations in America and is still sending shockwaves through the country today,' Hunter says of the notorious 1995 murder trial, the recent TV dramatisation of which has given him his new show title.
With race firmly back on the agenda in the US (as well as across Europe), Hunter has taken to addressing it in the only way he knows how: by baiting bigots. 'I've been challenging the views of white American racists on Twitter and it has not been as upsetting for me as it has been for them. All you have to do to win is keep cool and state the facts: they hate that. It's like holy water to a vampire. I figure if I can really argue my position with someone who despises the fact that I exist, then some of the places I'm visiting on this tour should be a piece of cake.'
Reginald D Hunter: Some People v. Reginald D Hunter is on tour until Sat 24 Jun.