Many entertainers today have to carefully toe the line between being funny and offensive. In the minds of some artists, like comedian Chris Rock and “Joker” director Todd Phillips, being funny has become more difficult due to a heightened awareness of political correctness and “woke culture.”
For comedian Tom Segura, who is known for his irreverent comedic style, the idea of political correctness didn’t prevent him from sticking to his guns Wednesday night, as he brought his most controversial jokes to a full house at the Lied Center for Performing Arts.
Segura has performed all around the world, as he is a regular at The Hong Kong Comedy Festival, Montreal’s Just for Laughs Comedy Festival and The Melbourne International Comedy Festival. His previous sets can be heard on his three comedy albums and three Netflix stand-up comedy specials.
The show was opened by Ryan Sickler who is a comedian and host of “The HoneyDew,” a storytelling podcast where he talks about laughing through the highs and lows of life. Sickler’s 2018 standup album, “Get a Hold of Yourself,” reached the No. 1 spot on both Billboard’s standup albums and ITunes’ comedy albums charts.
Sickler gave off a very laid-back vibe — which he immediately backed up by opening with a bit about marijuana. He touched on the differences between weed and alcohol, calling the former “the good friend who will tuck you in at night.” During his amusing 20-minute-long set, he also talked about being a divorced dad and sympathizing with women about their daily struggles, while speaking almost entirely in a steady, chill tone.
Sickler’s set was an enticing appetizer for Segura’s main course — and it was a truly delicious one. As he walked out to energizing rap music wearing a Nebraska football “Blackshirts” shirt, Segura had his audience hooked right from the start of his set.
Apparently, Segura and Sickler were given a tour of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s campus and athletic facilities Wednesday and Segura appeared to be impressed with what he saw.
“I think I just became one of your donors,” he cracked.
Segura is known for his irreverent humor, and he absolutely lived up to his reputation, delivering one profane, edgy joke after another.
He joked about people’s parents having sex, the “whiteness” of Nebraska and his disdain for the citizens of Louisiana and Arkansas, among other sensitive topics. The comic brought these kinds of jokes into his set early and often, immediately setting the tone for the raunchy nature of his comedic style.
Many of Segura’s jokes seemed to make a handful of the Lied Center audience members feel uncomfortable, but he always expertly cut the tension by acknowledging the divisive quality of his jokes.
It seems like this performing tactic worked well, as the audience absolutely ate up everything Segura fed it. At his best, he was an unstoppable comedic force — and blew past any judgemental frowns from naysayers in his way. By the time he was done with his set, Segura had completely won over his audience, sparking raucous laughter throughout the show.
While Segura’s comedic style may not be for everyone, it certainly appeared to entertain the Lied Center audience Wednesday night. He is definitely one of the best comedic storytellers active today, weaving through witty narratives at a dynamic pace.
By the end of his performance, Segura had performed a set that seemed to be mutually beneficial for both audience and entertainer — the former receiving a night of lively laughs and the latter joining the ranks of Husker fans.