Day 20: Maggie Maye

Day 20. I’m passing along comedy sets I like each day this month, since if you like my material, you’ll probably like the stand up I like. Today’s set is a 2015 Conan performance by Maggie Maye, and here’s some reasons it gets me laughing:

• LANGUAGE. I think I like jokes that examine language because it’s something we all use but so rarely scrutinize. Throughout her set, Maggie gives an active look to terms and phrases we use passively (sassy, racist, acting black, dance like no one’s watching) and gets me to laugh at what I’ve seen so often but never noticed.

• ANTANACLASIS. (Poetry heads can tell me if I’m classifying this incorrectly.) My favorite jokes in this set repeat a phrase, but give it a new meaning. “The derogatory term for a white girl is white girl.” Maggie also does this with the phrase “black people stuff.” It’s very funny to me because it’s a rapid repetition, but my brain has to backtrack to redefine the second usage. When I’m able to figure out her new definition, there’s a moment of glee, accompanied, of course, with laughter.

• COMMENTARY. Similar to the Ian Edwards set (Day 1), Maggie’s set is laced with unique commentary. She doesn’t call everything racist, instead questioning how the word gets used, but does critique disparities where she sees it. Nuances are generally unexpected in argument, so when she presents them to me, I’m once again caught off guard and caught laughing.

Hope you enjoyed it, and for more Maggie Maye, follow her on IG: @maggiemayehaha