The large crowd that turned out for the first instalment of the Pepsi Comedy Series at Usain Bolt's Track and Records sent a clear message to Ity and Fancy Cat, the main act for the night. Jamaica is desperate for something to laugh about.
The venue was jam-packed – standing room only – said Ian ‘Ity’ Ellis, who revealed that people had to be turned away because there was no room to accommodate anyone else.”The turnout and the reception show that people thirst for live comedy,” he said, adding tongue in cheek that some of the people who were turned away are people who could afford to pay.”People of every shade was there, my shade, Kartel shade, people of all kind of shade.”
“There are places in Jamaica that need the laughter, good, clean fun,” Ellis’ partner Alton ‘Fancy Cat’ Hardware chimed in. And apparently, that is exactly what the hundreds from Jamaica’s different social spheres got at Tracks and Records last weekend.With licence to be at their very best because, as Ity puts it, “We were released from the chains of the Broadcasting Commission,” the comedic duo tore the house down.”The connection between our set and the crowd was alive,” he said. He added that when Kathy Grant and Rosa Rosa – regulars on the successful Ity and Fancy Cat television show – were announced it was “pandemonium”.
“We tun it up,” Hardware said.Both comedians believe that with a downturn in the demand for reggaeand dancehall music, there is room for comedy to emerge and establish itself as a legitimate genre in Jamaica.”This is the time for the creators of comedy to step up,” Hardware said.Both men lauded Pepsi for introducing the series, saying that continued good performances will help to raise curiosity as more unfamiliar acts take to the stage to show Jamaicans what they have. They believe the laughter will pull people out to the shows and say that they look forward to what Johnny and Donald ‘Iceman’ Anderson will bring to the stage on the next show, set for July 25 at Tracks and Records.
Ellis, who has performed before crowds as large as 12,000 people in Savannah, Trinidad, and to sold-out audiences in Bermuda, says he believes, with the backing of Pepsi, one day soon he will see a comedyshow as large as Rebel Salute in Jamaica.”In Trinidad, they came to see comedians from the Caribbean. That can happen here,” he said.