Guy Torry Brings His Blood Clot To DC's Improv


Comedian Guy Torry has been trapped in quasi-famous purgatory since his small-screen debut on ABC's Family Matters nearly two decades ago. A brief peruse through his IMBD profile reveals a surprisingly lofty resume peppered with menial contributions to critically acclaimed films. But as a stand-up comic, Torry is probably still best known for a Def Comedy Jam performance in which he threatened to sic Tupac Shakur on Joe Torry--his biological sibling and then host of the program--in reference to an infamous fight scene from Poetic Justice (I guess you had to be there). Sunday night Guy took the stage at Washington DC's Improv for his fifth and final show before shuffling off to Sacramento for another weekend stint.

The crowd was reasonably thin, as The Improv rarely attracts a full house on God's designated day of rest. Guy's opening act was none other than Marina Franklin. You might remember her role in the classic Wack Arnolds sketch from season two of Chappelle's Show. She was the young lady that accused Calvin of smelling like french fries. Comedy Central's wardrobe staff certainly didn't do her physique any justice during that transient appearance. Marina strutted on stage with a jet black ribbon wrapped around a thick mane of curls and an elastic blouse hugging her wine glass figure.

After barreling through several hackneyed racial quips, she regained her footing by reenacting early attempts at emulating sassy black female comics. "I didn't know how to be myself on stage and I would say the wrong thing," said Franklin. "I would just get on stage and say: I got a big pussy!" While perhaps a trite joke on paper, she processes an intangible charm and professionalism to her stage presence that can sell the most uninspired writing in real time. Providing she ever gets her hands on better quality material, Marina has the potential to be a breakout talent. In the meantime she's just a serviceable opener that's easy on the eyes.

When the host finally introduced the main event, Guy Torry emerged from the club's rear wearing a silver Adidas windbreaker jacket, unassumingly weaving through patrons before climbing onstage to the abrasive sound of Ice Cube's 'Click Click Get Back'. Despite rapidly pacing back-and-forth and aggressively engaging the audience, Torry looked worn down and lethargic. Following the obligatory Washington Redskins joshing, he went into a twenty minute tirade lambasting homosexuals. "I think they should have a gay evolution chart, but in reverse," said the fatigued comedian. "The figure should start upright, then bend over, then get on his knees, and then turn into Chris Bosh!" The crowd erupted with laughter, but the performance was pedestrian at best, as he stuttered and stammered over most of his lines throughout the night.

Halfway into his act, Torry haphazardly confessed he was still recovering from a blood clot caused by frequent travel on cramped airplanes. Blood clots have the potential to break off, travel to the lungs or brain, and trigger a deadly pulmonary embolism. The condition claimed the life of rapper-turned-actor Heavy D back in late 2011. "I'm on Coumadin right now," Torry explained. "Y'all know what Coumadin is?! Rat poison! I've been craving cheese like a muthafucka!"

Towards the end of his set, Torry was heckled by a couple seated in the second row. "You don't want to do this," he warned. "Not in front of your girl. Don't let these dimples fool you nigga!" His face lit up, and for the first time all night he appeared to be entertaining himself. Torry proceeded to lay into the couple for nearly fifteen minutes, shaming them into compliance. After the trouncing was over he admitted his performance had been unexpectedly derailed by the hecklers. "I'm trying to salvage the show," he conceded. "It's like I was beating up some pussy and her husband came home. Now I'm trying to find my way back into this pussy." Torry's analogy proved to be succinct, as the show begrudgingly dragged on until last call.

3 comments: