Last week, Single Palm Tree Productions hosted an international showcase called America Meet World at the famed Gotham Comedy Club in New York City. A project created to introduce Americans to new voices from other regions, including Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, the showcase saw top international acts entertain the crowd in the club’s main room, which has also seen the likes of Dave Chappelle, Jerry Seinfeld, and more.
Featuring local acts Alex Barnett, Subhah Agarwal, and Ben Kissel, the stars of the night were two of Africa’s top comedians: Emmy nominated Loyisa Gola (pictured above) and David Kibuuka. No subject was left untouched. The showcase was just a snippet of Single Palm Tree Productions’ goal for America Meet World, a global comedy platform designed to produce and curate short form comedic content from around the globe that will not only entertain but introduce Americans to new voices from different regions including Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
Get to know these talents on the rise, below.
1. Alex Barnett
The writer, comedian, and social commentator from Long Island, New York has appeared on various shows including Katie and SiriusXM Radio’s “Raw Dog Comedy.”
Best joke of the night: He’s in an interracial marriage and joked about how people can’t seem to get past him dating a woman of color. “They think it’s this complicated back story. Like she’s an R&B singer and I’m her agent.”
2. Ben Kissel
The Wisconsin-born comedian has made several guest appearances on various podcasts and television networks including The Last Podcast on the Left, Roundtable of Gentlemen, Abe Lincoln’s Top, Cave Comedy Radio, Al Jazeera America, and Spike TV, respectively.
Best joke of the night: When he was in middle school, he didn’t know RuPaul was a man and thought “she” was quite beautiful. He bragged to his friends about pleasuring himself to a picture of this hot chick who ended up being a man.
3. Subhah Agarwal
Hailing from Chicago, she’s had regular appearances at New York Comedy Club, the Laughing Devil, Greenwich Village Comedy Club, and Broadway Comedy Club. She was also the featured comedian on PBS’s popular web series, “Modern Comedian.”
Best joke of the night: She described her frustration of going through TSA at the airports because they always assumed she was Muslim. She would dress provocatively so the TSA could tell her that she needs Islam.
4. David Kibuuka
Kibuuka was born and raised in Uganda but currently living in South Africa. He’s currently a field correspondent on the late night show that features comedian Loyisa Gola. He’s performed regularly at various comedy venues in South Africa, New York, and Massachusetts.
Best joke of the night: In South Africa, he talked about all people committing crime especially black people. So when he came to the United States, he felt so at home.
5. Loyisa Gola
He’s a South African comedian and host of parody show, Late Nite News with Loyisa Gola, which was nominated for an Emmy. He’s performed at many comedy events throughout his country and was the third ever host of the Comedy Central series Comedy Central Presents… Live at Parker’s, in 2012.
Best joke of the night: He talked about not knowing how to spell certain words and how he loved the word “nincompoop.” One night he wanted to call his friend “nincompoop” in a text message but opted for the word c–t instead because it was shorter and easier to spell.
[Photo Credit: Single Palm Tree Productions]