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Racial comedy is recession-proof with Mike Epps

As my date and I enter the back of the dark, packed Augustus Ballroom, Mike Epps has already started his show, rapping and spoofing Lil' Wayne. "Look at all these white people who came to see me! I didn't know y’all knew me!"

From what I can make out of the many Baby Phat, Louis Vuitton and Sean Jean-rocking audience, we are actually two of the only white people there. And we are certainly not his target audience.

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"Don't leave the motherfuckin' phone lyin' around, because if they get that, that's the worst nightmare ever. If they find it, they be like "Wake the fuck up! Who is this? Call this bitch!" The crowd roars with the extra-loud "that's so true!" laughter. My date laughs and says, "That happened to me!" Apparently, infidelity is universal.

Other things, not so much. Epps' jokes center on black culture: How black people from New York wear Timberlands with everything, those from Chicago probably have their fur coats up in their hotel rooms right now and those from L.A. sport perms. How married "brothers" are so different when they are with their families and when they are in the clubs; they go from "I'm with the family" to "Where my bitches at?"

He jokes about black music: "How'd we get from 'Oh, girl, I'd be in trouble if you left me now,' to 'I was gettin' some head, gettin' gettin' some head'?" And black television: "Flava Flav just got himself a new set of ugly bitches!" He laughs about how tough-love black "mamas" smack their kids around and pokes fun at the sordid, dangerous world of drug dealing. Epps ended the night with a topical comment. "I see a couple of brothers with white girls in here, tryin' to get their credit right. White bitches are recession-proof!"

Until a few months ago, wasn’t that what they said about Vegas?

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Jennifer Grafiada

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