Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter has found his own way through the live comedy world as a curator and sponsor of his own night of stand-up, Delirious.
Everyone knows that Philadelphia’s large and ever-expanding The Roots has many separate singular components.
Like Questlove, the drummer-turned-author-turned foodie who has turned his recent attentions to home Food Salons where top tier chefs cook for VIP diners, an upcoming book, Mixtape Potluck, that imagines the ultimate potluck dinner party.
And like Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, The Roots’ co-founder who – along with making jokes nightly with Jimmy Fallon on NBC’s The Tonight Show where his ensemble is the house band – has found his own way through the live comedy world as a curator and sponsor of his own night of stand-up, Delirious.
Since 2017, The Roots’ Black Thought, with Live Nation, has been bringing his stand-up dedicated comedy showcase to Punch Line Philadelphia, usually, the night before The Roots Picnic, and often with big-name stars as its headliners such as SNL’s Chris Redd and Curb Your Enthusiasm’s J.B. Smoove. And yes, Black Thought – one of the most serious, thoughtful lyricists in hip hop – does his own stand-up comedy set. “I do not seem like a funny guy,” he told me back when he first started Delirious, in 2017.
As he spends his weeknights in Manhattan after The Tonight Show’s live taping going to a wealth of comedy clubs, his entertainment diet became extended and his interest in seeing Philly progress as a comedy mecca exploded.
“Seeing that made me realize Philly doesn’t have that many outlets for comedy. It’s often been that if you wanted to make it in comedy from Philly, you had to come to New York. Kevin Hart and Big Jay Oakerson had to commute to NYC every night for years to get onstage. Not to take anything away from New York or L.A., but there should be more opportunity for comedy in Philly, for Philly comics to interact with other working comedians,” Trotter says. “I hope ‘Black Thought Presents … Delirious’ helps to shed some light on Philly comedians who may not yet get the chance to shine. People are thirsty for that chance.”
This week, Black Thought brings Delirious to Theatre of Living Arts for the first time, on Sunday, July 28. No word on who – other than Black Thought – is its headliners. It looks like Trotter likes mystery as much as he likes comedy.