Live Review: Godfrey takes on religion, politics & parenting at Chicago’s Up Comedy Club

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Godfrey performs at Up Comedy Club in Chicago on January 27, 2017.

The Up Comedy Club in Chicago was brimming with laughter on Friday night (Jan. 27) thanks to comedian Godfrey Danchimah, Jr., better known by his fans simply as Godfrey. The Nebraska-born former Chicagoan (now living in New York) with Nigerian roots was in top form during the first of his two stand-up shows of the evening, pulling laughs from a host of subjects, both topical and timeless.

Godfrey opened things up with a hilarious free-flowing exploration of organized religion. “I think they should redo church,” joked the comedian, “I’ve never liked it.” He drove his point home with a number of hilarious impressions, from sermonizing priests to masturbating nuns. And his observations comparing the differences, both in timeliness and in song, of Catholic and Gospel churches was an absolute hit with the sold-out crowd.

Among the other hot topics examined with hilarity during Friday night’s early show were racism, sports, kung fu and parenting. Godfrey didn’t hold back when laying into the lattermost, calling out the bad habits of people he’s termed “punk-*ss and b*tch-*ss parents.” He blasted those who use “kid harnesses” and, with a hysterical yet convincing impression of his no-nonsense Nigerian father, offered up some humorous alternative methods and old-school scare tactics for teaching modern children how to behave.

Parenting was sort of a theme of the night with on-topic stories from both the opener Matty Ryan, who humorously detailed his mother’s peculiar but effective behavior modification strategies, and the MC Erica Nicole Clark (aka Mr. T.’s daughter), who shared her father’s advice from the day she got her first period. “Sit on the toilet and wait ’til your momma get home,” quipped Clark.

Matty Ryan & Erica Nicole Clark Up Comedy Club Chicago

Matty Ryan (left) and Erica Nicole Clark (right) perform at Up Comedy Club in Chicago on January 27, 2017.

Those hoping for a cathartic release of laughter following last week’s inauguration were in luck as Godfrey devoted a fair amount of material to criticizing the 2016 election as well as President Trump, whom he called a “douche” and “a five year old.” He took aim at Hillary Clinton, blaming her recent loss on her lack of popularity with women and poked fun at Jeb Bush, likening his debate performance to that of a substitute teacher.

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Godfrey performs at Up Comedy Club in Chicago on January 27, 2017.

Godfrey is a comedian best absorbed in a live setting. While his material is aurally solid — just check out his recent release Regular Black for evidence of this — there is also a key physical component built into his comedy. He knows how to make the most of his material, wringing every last laugh from his jokes, and incorporates the audience to just the right degree. He has an infectious upbeat energy and a resulting vibrant stage presence that screams, “I will make you laugh!” … And that, he does.

(Photos by Laurie Fanelli)