James Davis

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - Showtime - Palm Beach - - MUSIC -

Within 24 hours of each other this week, two pro­files of co­me­dian James Davis were pub­lished: one in Van­ity Fair and one in Golf Di­gest. The in­ter­est in Davis is tied to last Wed­nes­day’s premiere of his Com­edy Cen­tral se­ries “Hood Ad­ja­cent,” the comic’s at­tempt to bridge ur­ban and main­stream hu­mor, blend­ing standup riffs and doc­u­men­tary-style visits to his old stomp­ing grounds in South Cen­tral Los An­ge­les. Rou­tinely cross­ing lanes from com­edy to thought­ful com­men­tary and back again, Davis’ ob­ser­va­tions are based on his fa­mil­iar­ity with the rough streets of South Cen­tral, but also an abil­ity to see them from a dis­tance. He at­tended pri­vate school, ma­jored in English at Pomona Col­lege and, yes, plays golf. “I’m from South Cen­tral — but not that South Cen­tral,” Davis says in his act. “I’m not from the ‘Me­nace II So­ci­ety,’ ‘Boyz n the Hood’ part of town. ... When the ri­ots hap­pened, I could smell it, but I couldn’t see it.” Un­der the Van­ity Fair head­line “James Davis Is the Hood Ad­ja­cent Star We Need Right Now,” the comic ac­knowl­edges the im­por­tance of be­ing “cul­tur­ally bilin­gual.” “As long as you’re re­spect­ful and give love to ev­ery­body, that love will over­power what­ever lost-in-trans­la­tion mo­ments might hap­pen tem­po­rar­ily,” he says. “Our coun­try is di­vided. I tend to fo­cus on what bonds us. To be able to man­i­fest those sim­i­lar­i­ties — even though I may not look like you or agree with what you agree with — that’s the most pos­i­tive ap­proach to com­edy right now. In­stead of ‘black peo­ple do this’ and ‘Repub­li­cans do this.’ It’s a chal­lenge, but that re­ward is so amaz­ing: to have hood peo­ple and sub­ur­ban peo­ple laugh­ing at the same joke in the same way.” When: 8 p.m. July 6; 7:30, 10 p.m. July 7; 7, 9:30 p.m. July 8 Where: Palm Beach Im­prov, 550 S Rose­mary Ave., West Palm Beach Cost: $20 Con­tact: 561-833-1812 or Palm­BeachIm­prov.com

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