One of the things that stands out about “Dog Belly” is Big Jay Oakerson’s razor like ability to connect with his audience on a personal level. The other thing that may surprise you is the warmth this guy exudes. He’s really kind of loveable.
Oakerson’s outsized vulnerability make his comedy land way beyond relatable, it’s deeply understandable and interesting. Something that a lot of modern comedy fails to be. His willingness to share personal anecdotes also serves to highlight the absurdity of everyday life, making even the most mundane experiences feel hilarious.
DAMN GOOD CROWD WORK
Another aspect of “Dog Belly” that’s worth noting is Jay’s damn good crowd work. He’s just really great at it. As in, he makes it look easy. Throughout the special, he interacts with members of the audience, often riffing on their responses to his jokes. This adds an element of spontaneity to the performance, making the whole thing engaging to watch. He’s not afraid to take risks with his humor, often touching on controversial topics and pushing the boundaries of what’s considered acceptable. Yet he does so in a way that’s so unique to who he is, his brand and style, that he gets away with a lane of leeway that another comic wouldn’t be able to work in.
DOG BELLY TRAILER
For those unfamiliar with Big Jay, he’s a comedian known for his honest and raw and totally fluid approach to comedy. He’s not afraid to tackle controversial topics and push boundaries with his humor. He’s been featured on various TV shows and podcasts, including “The Bonfire” with fellow comedian, (a good buddy of mine), Dan Soder, and “This Is Not Happening” on Comedy Central.
In “Dog Belly,” Oakerson shares a story about being accused of making racist jokes. He takes the opportunity to address the incident head-on and shares his thoughts on the current state of cancel culture and how it’s affecting the comedy world.
Overall, “Dog Belly” is a fantastic showcase of Big Jay’s stand-up chops, and as I say the fun of it is is how much warmth he exudes. How likeable he is, no matter where he goes and he goes pretty far afield. It’s no surprise that the special has already reached over a million views on YouTube and isn’t going to stop anywhere close to that number.
LEGION OF SKANKS
In addition to his stand-up, Big Jay’s also a co-host of the popular podcast “Legion of Skanks.” Along with comedians Luis J. Gomez and Dave Smith, Oakerson hosts a weekly show where they discuss current events, pop culture, and of course, comedy.
“Legion of Skanks” has gained a large following over the years, thanks to its unfiltered humor. As in his stand-up, these guys are known for their no-holds-barred approach to life. They basically are the nucleus of the heavy metal movement of comedy. They invented it. They run it. There are a bunch of others in it, but only if the Skanks say they’re in it. (Think Josh Adam Myers, Jessica Michelle Singleton (Is she in it? I know she wants to be? Josh is in it, he’s talented, but he’s got to get his card punched pretty regularly I’d suspect. ) The point is these guys are the Rogan and Redban of another wave of brand spanking new. That’s not easy to be. They started a continent. They can have you ashore or throw you back of into the sea.
Get them on a good day.
In addition to their stand-up and podcasting work, Big Jay, Luis and Dave have also co-created Skankfest, a comedy festival that has quickly become one of the most anticipated events on the yearly comedy calendar. (I sound like I read that last line out of a Jane Austen Novel.)
Skankfest was first launched in 2017 in New York City, and since then has grown into a multi-day festival that features some of the biggest and wildest names in comedy. The festival includes a wide variety of events, including stand-up shows, live podcasts, and panel discussions. One of the unique aspects of Skankfest is its emphasis on a sense of community among comedians and fans alike. The festival has been described as a “comedy summer camp” by some attendees, with a laid-back atmosphere that encourages performers and fans to connect with one another.
BOBBY KELLY ON THE BONFIRE
Boy they made a good choice bringing him into the fold. That’s a good fit there. When Dan Soder went off on his own, for whatever reason, I felt bad for Jay. But Bobby Kelly was a killer ideal. Anyone who reads this blog knows what a big fan of his I am. They seem a lot more similar to each other than he and Dan were, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s a lot of fun. They’re gonna work.
SOME IMPORTANT SHIT
The Bonfire, all of the stuff Big Jay is at the center of has gained a reputation for being unapologetically edgy. Some way out there, is it’s own lane stuff. With a lot of the performers on these podcasts and at the festivals and their live shows pushing the boundaries of what’s considered acceptable in mainstream comedy. It’s made their brand a favorite among fans who appreciate comedy that’s willing to take risks and challenge conventional wisdom. They also exist in a time when stand-up has matured as an art form that sits alongside of music, film, literature, and visual arts in a sense that it can’t be housed in one museum, festival. or style. It’s has too many shapes and modes, too much to say and express.
Big Jay, Luis, and, Dave are a big part of that outgrowth. They’re their own wing of the stand up world. They’re going to be looked back as seriously important players in the evolution of the craft. Right now though they’re just funny fuckers. Nut jobs having fun. They’ll age well though. Ground breakers do.
Watch Dog Belly on YouTube now.
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