Time for the weekly comedy crush, brought to you once again by the Sunday night Sam & Joe Show at Caroline's. It's not the first time I've seen Sheng, nor the first time I was wowed by him. I've seen him crush at Gotham and The Stand and probably some other places I'm forgetting.
All Sheng's jokes are strong and do that Good Comedy thing where they are both totally relatable and totally novel at the same time. Nearly every joke has a uniquely memorable phrase in or around the punchline - "Lace it up" (a bit about how straight men should be able to hold hands), "The cop is within" (a bit about stoner paranoia) and "Your hate is weak" (lazy racism), just to name a few.
And he's got such a confident, deliberate delivery. No matter how long the setup, the audience feels safely belted in for the ride, totally sure of the upcoming payoff. Even when he pauses to decide which joke to do next, or trails off at the end of a newer bit that he hasn't finished tightening up, everyone's on board. I even saw him stop in the middle of a new bit about insurance deductibles last week (which I got to see finished last night), pause and say out loud it was new and he was trying to remember what he wanted to say next, then before launching back into a different joke, he said, "Sorry guys, I'm a fraud" and the audience practically roared. That's some pretty impressive comedy voodoo.