Young Democrats Club visits New York City for “Back to Abnormal” tour


Stage lights shine over Madison Square Garden’s sold-out audience, welcoming Trevor Noah to the stage. Photo by Emma Dela Cruz.

Emma Dela Cruz, Social Media Editor

This previously ran in our February 2022 print issue.

In late January, members of the EHS Young Democrats Club celebrated the conclusion of a long and choppy midterms week with a trip to New York City. Following a brief bus ride and dinner at the Hudson Yards shopping complex, they trekked in 20-degree weather to Madison Square Garden, ready to attend a night of comedy and character: Trevor Noah’s “Back to Abnormal: World Tour.”

Trevor Noah, most widely recognized as host of “The Daily Show” and author of “Born a Crime,” is a South-African-born comedian and political commentator. Noted for his wit, irony, and comedic impressions, Noah also tours globally, performing segments of stand-up comedy to audiences around the world. Noah performed for Madison Square Garden on Jan. 21, surrounded by a sold-out audience and, among this crowd, the Young Democrats Club. 

Prefacing Noah’s tour were two other stand-up acts, one delivered by comedian Vince August and the second performed by Josh Johnson, a writer for “The Daily Show.”

August’s 15-minute act focused on the nostalgia and chaos of his 1980s New Jersey childhood. Sometimes reminiscent of the past, such as his apparent longing for life to be “fun again,” the comedian also referenced crude and hilarious memories, such as those set at the local playground or his family home. August’s raw and honest view of the boyhood experience made for crass humor, often sprinkled with vulgar language. Gen. X fans looking for frank relatability are sure to find some laughs within August’s performances.  

Following August, Johnson’s short time on stage served as no limit to his performance. The comedian answered the question of why he fears raising children in New York City, embedding his reasons within a personal subway experience he retold to the audience. Johnson referenced stereotypical characters, such as the homeless man on the train, the little kid reading the comic, and the security guard at the train station booth (who is never actually helpful), comically switching voices for the portrayal of each.  Although the act included a few obscenities, his target audience was clearly younger than that of August. With amusing dances, impressions, and lots of energy, Johnson undoubtedly served as a hit that night.

Besides a delayed stage appearance, Noah did not disappoint the hundreds of audience members, who, while munching on overpriced popcorn and pizza, touted his arrival with applause and cheers. Noah jumped comfortably into the show and, subsequently, the jokes. The show’s location and Noah’s dwelling, New York City, served as a point of entry to his comedy. Noah even mentioned a previous tour performance in Dallas, noting that he found Texans’ fascination with guns “interesting.” From here, the comedian shifted quickly to a variety of topics, which ranged between wishes, mask usage, airline experiences, Indian curry, and much more. Despite this array, he somehow managed to cohesively connect his jokes, with no abrupt transitions that would detract from the humor. Most exceptional of Noah’s comedic talents, however, is the way he tells stories; his jokes aren’t poor, sloppily constructed attempts to make the crowd guffaw. Rather, he seeks to be personal with the audience, intending to not only foster laughs, but also relatability. Viewers, even without finding Noah’s jokes particularly funny, still had the chance to take something meaningful away from the show. A hilarious but relaxed performance with two considerable prefacing acts, Trevor Noah’s “Back to Abnormal: World Tour” is something fans shouldn’t miss, whether it be in Boston or Brussels.