Faizon Love at Cleveland Improv
In case you didn’t hear the ice cream truck pull up, Big Worm himself was in town this past weekend at Cleveland Improv.
We’ve all seen him in his many TV and movie roles but have you seen him do live standup?
I had not. I have seen other famous actors on the comedy stage though so I knew to expect a guy who likely coasts by using references to his previous on-screen roles and lives off of his famous persona.
But then again….what the fuck do I know???
Faizon Love would kill if he was an unknown. He’s a natural born comic, simple as that. Formatted, well-written jokes delivered in a way that made them seem to come right off the top of his head. Hilarious stories. And lots of quick commentary that actually was impromptu. His crowd interaction and patience was stellar. The dude is legitimately hilarious.
Faizon loves Cleveland even though there’s really nothing to do. He does not, however, like the new Guardians baseball team name. He expressed concern that baseball team names are, perhaps, not the most pressing racial issue out there today. And he thinks the name Guardians is stupid, in general.
He didn’t mention the river catching on fire, the Browns illustrious history with QBs or any of the usual cliche jokes comics use here to get an easy laugh. But he did mix in some commentary that let the audience know that he’s not at all unfamiliar with The Land.
I guess when your last name is Love, you have to be patient to an extent. But Faizon took it to a whole new level Sunday night.
Frequent audience interjections were met with quick and funny responses. One particular audience member went as far as to approach the stage and try to take over the show a bit. As security (and Dave Flynt) prepared to snatch him up and gently remind him where he had parked, Faizon gave them the “chill” signal and proceeded to use the mic to make the stage intruder sorry he was allowed to stay.
Faizon pointed out the fact that the overzealous fan seemed pathetically desperate to get a pic and a personal interaction in an attempt to get attention for himself. Then he punctuated the good-natured scolding with a Cleveland-centric burn by singing “and I’m gonna tell everybody, and I’m gonna tell everybody” in his best Bone Thug voice. He also called the guy “Musiq Soulchild” which was an accurate roast point that turned up the crowd’s already-high enjoyment level.
The set had a full menu of material. Marital advice about how it’s easier to compromise on some issues. Cautions on dating younger “Tik Tok” girls. His lack of affection for certain drill music. Selfless admissions about gastrointestinal miscues. And, as it was Fathers Day, fatherhood. He covered a wide array of subjects and there was zero down time.
As he closed out his set, he did more than the required crowd interactions. It was essentially an open Q&A. He found one enthusiastic audience member that had shouted a few prompts or responses throughout the show and had a funny back and forth with him. The guy actually turned out to be pretty funny so Faizon rolled right with it and orchestrated it all to unfold exactly the way he wanted.
Every aspect of his set was funny and attention-holding. If there was anything he could improve on it would only be his ability/inability to light a cigar. But that was probably planned too.
I could go on and on but the reality of it is that you should go see Faizon Love if you ever get a chance. You will have a great time and he will make you an even bigger fan of his.
He is not coasting.
Special thanks to the host for the evening, Cleveland’s very own Dave Flynt and the opener, Tim Loulies. And a big thank you to the Cleveland Improv for their hospitality.