DICK GREGORY at B.B. King Blues Club

There has never been a better time to appreciate the wit

"You're talking about Trump? You're the crazy one."
and wisdom of Dick Gregory, American civil rights leader, social critic and comedian, whose life is the subject of the hot, one-man Broadway play, Turn Me Loose. Actor Joe Morton plays Gregory eight times a week, delivering some of his best material and funniest lines from over the years. Morton was there to make a moving introduction before the 83-year-old Gregory took the stage with his latest stand-up act.

The reason Canada never has extreme weather is because “it never fucked with the system.” White folk hire black folk “to change their babies’ diapers,” but white folk walk their dog and “pick up their dog’s shit.” Black folks and white folks are different; he gives numerous hilarious examples. A one-time diet and fitness expert, Gregory is in great mental shape and physical shape. He is more outrageous than ever. 

Often you think, “Did he just say that?” Shocking lines were delivered in a softer voice, like a stunning comment about the Queen that I couldn’t be sure I heard right.

Ever aware of his audience, Gregory follows a wild opinion with an innocent “So anyway…” He is au courant, celebrating yesterday’s Supreme Court victory on abortion rights: “Don’t let anyone tell you what the fuck to do.” Only one mention of the GOP nominee: “You’re talking about Trump? You’re the crazy one.”

To hear more of beloved Dick Gregory—with the language cleaned up—see the highly praised, extended by popular demand Turn Me Loose.

A lot is going on at B.B. King’s—Saturday Beatles brunch and Sunday Gospel brunch, not to mention weekly music trips to Cuba. I wish, then, that the food were less expensive and easier to get. This night was admittedly a sold-out spectacular occasion, but I waited an hour to be served the famous smoked beef brisket burger at $25. As famished as I was I found the French fries a bit soggy and the collard greens salty. People sitting near enjoyed Chef Wenford Patrick Simpson's lauded Memphis style BBQ ribs, shrimp and grits, and his delectably creamy macaroni and cheese. No one ordered a $12 dessert out of fear that it would be served after the show was finished. 

Jon Paris and his rocking band, with bass guitarist Amy Madden, were performing their weekly gig—no cover charge for some of the best live music in New York City. Paris’s guitar picks are his calling cards, printed with JonParis.com. I caught the guitar pick that Jon tossed into the audience. It was just like catching the bride’s bouquet or the home-run ball at Yankee Stadium.

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