Jatty Robinson: Odds Are Even.

Gorilla Specials: The Odds Are Good That Jatty Robinson’s ‘Odds Are Even’ Will Blow You Away

From the jump, Jatty Robinson’s Odds Are Even is warm and electric in a way we don’t see much anymore in stand-up specials. Decked out in a gorpy sweater advertising himself and the special (a move so brilliant it’s bound to be copied), Robinson whirls through an act-out of this bit:

“Good to see my fellow Black people here, man. This look good. There we go. Cause you know what it is, man? I just hate that stigma as if, like, Black people, we don’t support each other. Hey, I feel like we support each other one-hundred percent. It just depends on……You feel me? It just depends on how much. How much. How much. How much does it cost to be with you? How much does it cost? To be in your presence, how much?”

The joke continues as Robinson talks about starting in comedy, and needing to sell twenty tickets for twenty dollars each, and moves through beats like hearing ten “bets” or “okays” in a row, with the comic getting increasingly anxious/exasperated as the person thinking about supporting him. The entire bit has great lines like, “I put $20 on FanDuel, so it really depends on if the Knicks win or not,” but it also has great movement. While hitting jokes, Robinson sighs, bangs his fist, crouches, opens his eyes wide, touches his face in uncertainty, crosses his arms, and looks up as he moves the audience along in waves lof laughter. From that first bit to the end, Robinson is constantly killing with poise and thoughtful elegance. 

Jatty Robinson: Odds Are Even.
Jatty Robinson: Odds Are Even.

Jatty Robinson knows how to avoid obvious, easy, and basic concepts, and instead opts to elevate simple-yet-interesting ideas.

In a joke about getting kicked in the head by a subway performer, Robinson points to the place he got kicked and says “Right in the beanie.” The joke continues, contrasting the performer with OGs who would never hit anyone on the train. We learn the performer had people thinking “Where’s the music?” Then, while dancing in khakis and a button-up shirt with a nametag, he dances and kicks Robinson, before immediately denying it and removing his nametag. After he performs, he picks up the boombox he didn’t play and tells Robinson to call him when he gets home (a reference to an earlier joke). All of this is a simple premise that heightens with incredibly specific detail, with each piece of information being given after a previous one, building to an incredibly visual, hilarious scenario. Lesser comics would have gone in on subway dancer tropes or harped on one specific aspect of the exchange, but Robinson is much better than that. Throughout the hour, Robinson reminds us just how good he is. 

Robinson is like a comedy surgeon, assembling intricate, specific details together into a bandage of hilarity.

After pointing out that people don’t like to give out more than one piece of gum at a time, he does a small act out that makes anyone watching feel seen. While pretending to be the person chewing gum and the person wanting gum, he has a punchline that starts, “Yo, first off, lower your voice,” and proceeds to play out the way everyone gets secretive about having gum. The joke then goes into another section about Orbit gum. To have jokes about chewing gum that destroy a room in the 2020s is a rare and beautiful thing, but Robinson manages to make it work.

In other jokes, Robinson goes through how almond milk makes you feel fancy, introducing new words to your vocabulary like “indubitably,” with a punchline about how drinking it gives you a master’s degree. A bit about headphones goes into how air pod wearers seem better than everyone else, with focus on how they always kind of roll their fingers on the headphones a bit, inspecting them. A joke about urgent care doctors highlights how one wore a peacoat, and then has a short exchange that names the brand (Calvin Klein), and the store it was purchased from (Macy’s). Comedy is built on observation, but it takes a special mind like Robinson’s to delve this deeply into the nuances of a topic like this. 

Robinson already has trademark moves to his singular stand-up voice.

Tics are a crucial part to what makes a stand-up become a singular performer, be it cadence, language, volume, or delivery. From his first joke onward, Robinson makes use of repetition in a way that is all his own. He repeats a phrase at the end of the section before the punchline in a higher, soft voice than his own speaking voice. Rather than amplify his comedy, it’s a way to reset the audience to prepare to laugh again, an on-ramp to the next idea or joke. By using this quirk in such a way, Robinson builds anticipation, crushing every time he hits the next comedic idea. Odds Are Even is a special that’s truly special, announcing Robinson as someone to watch as he thrives in a crowded comedy landscape.

Jatty Robinson's special Odds Are Even will be available to watch for free on YouTube tonight at 7 PM CT!

Stream & download the audio from the special here.

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