Black on Black on Black
Presented by The Theatre Centre
Black on Black on Black is a celebration of Black comedy, Black joy — all Black everything. Performers from across the spectrums of age, gender, body shape and size will make you laugh using comedic forms as diverse as themselves: sketch, stand-up, improv, and maybe even comedic interpretive dance. Featuring performers you’ve seen on HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Just For Laughs, and The Second City — comedy so good you’ll be coming Black again.
Hosted by Ajahnis Charley, a non-Binary sketch comedy performer who is one of Just For Laughs’ 2022 New Faces of Comedy Canada, and stars in the HBO Max series Station Eleven and Bell Media sitcom Shelved. Including more sketch comedy from Nkasi Ogbonnah, who garnered rave reviews from their acclaimed mainstage revues at The Second City, Welcome Back To The Future and Mission Totally Possible. Featuring stand-up from Sashka DC, one of Toronto’s fastest-rising comedians, who runs fan-fave comedy shows Anxiety Noir and Sunday Seconds. Blessed with improvised comedy from stars Coko Galore & Brandon Hackett. Coko Galore has attracted international attention as the face of a new Gain campaign and Brandon is a writer extraordinaire, with credits on Shelved, Summer Memories and 22 Minutes. And a headlining stand-up set from Hisham Kelati, the Juno-nominated comedian who recently slayed at the Hannah Gadsby Gala at Just For Laughs Montreal.
Recommended attire: all black everything.
Hosted by Ajahnis Charley
Featuring Nkasi Ogbonnah, Sashka DC, Coko Galore, Brandon Hackett, and Hisham Kelati.
Comedy is Art is made possible by Kingfisher Foundation.
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About the artists
Ajahnis Charley (they/them/that bitch) is a Black, Non-Binary comedian and is the Just For Laughs’ New Face of Comedy: Canada. Well, one of them. But look how pretty they are! They are an alum of The Second City and they star in the HBO miniseries Station Eleven and Bell Media sitcom Shelved. They’ve written punch-ups for the upcoming comedy series Bria Mack Gets A Life, comedy-doc Stay Tuned and news satire for platforms The Beaverton and Because News. If you hear a pun about butts in Canadian media, they likely had something to do with it. The National Film Board produced Ajahnis’ award-winning directorial debut, I AM GAY. Spoiler alert: they are very gay. Their solo show THOTS & PRAYERS won awards at Toronto and Montreal Sketch Comedy Festivals. Ajahnis is a co-founder and co-producer of the Untitled Black Sketch Project, Canada’s first all-Black sketch ensemble unless Joe Pesci wants to join. Ajahnis is obsessed with Joe Pesci.
Sashka DC (she/her) is a stand-up comedian, and host of Anxiety Noir and Sunday Seconds Comedy. With cynical perspectives and bizarre observations, Sashka shares her anecdotes of social slip-ups and finding joy in failed relationships. Between her West Indies upbringing and modern suburban suffering, all Sashka wants is to share her dark commentary and side-prodding awkwardness with an audience willing to tell her she’s right.
Coko Galore (she/they) is the moment. Despite her full-time job of being a Black Woman, she found time in her busy schedule to write for Canadian comedy institutions This Hour Has 22 Minutes and the Canadian Screen Awards. She has a magnetic presence and appears in critically acclaimed shows TallBoyz, Overlord & The Underwoods, and has attracted international attention as the face of Gain. She will also appear in the upcoming season of Pretty Hard Cases (CBC) and The Accused (Fox). Black-centred content is her artistic mandate, and as producer, she has established Canada’s first and only all-Black sketch ensemble and comedy festival, the Untitled Black Sketch Project and the Black & Funny Toronto Festival. She is also the former Artistic and Managing Director of The Bad Dog Comedy Theatre. Comedy festivals worldwide have had Coko grace the stage as a headlining act, and she is a frequent speaker as a host and panellist. Is she the Canadian Beyoncé, Oprah, or Michelle Obama? No. She’s Coko Galore.
Brandon Hackett (he/him) is a Toronto-based television writer and performer. His most recent TV writing credits include Run the Burbs, TallBoyz, This Hour Has 22 Minutes and The Beaverton, the latter garnering a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Writing in Variety or Sketch Comedy. Other credits include contributions to season 2 of the Tony Ho Podcast, and CBC’s Because News. He is an alumnus of the Second City mainstage, where he wrote and performed four revues, including the Canadian Comedy Award-nominated Party Today (Panic Tomorrow) and The Best is Yet to Come Undone. He is also an alumnus of the long-running Toronto sketch troupe The Sketchersons, whose show Sunday Night Live has been running weekly since 2004. He is the head writer and director of the sketch comedy collective Untitled Black Sketch Project. Currently, he is writing on the upcoming cartoon series Summer Memories and is also working on a comedy album with his writing partner Jonathan Langdon.
Hisham Kelati (he/him) is a Toronto-based stand-up comic and comedy writer, known for his vivid and engaging storytelling. He’s performed on festivals like Just for Laughs Montreal (New Faces 2019), Just for Laughs Toronto, Sled Island, Toronto Sketchfest and CBC’s Accent on Toronto. Hisham has also opened for SNL’s Chris Redd and WTF Podcast host Marc Maron, was a writer on CBC’s hit sketch show TallBoyz, can be heard on CBC The Debaters and can be seen on CTV’s The Stand Up Show with Jon Dore and CBC’s New Wave of Stand-up. In 2019, he was nominated for Best Taped Performance at the Canadian Comedy Awards and won Host of the Year at the Toronto Comedy Awards, and most recently his debut stand-up comedy album ‘Tigre King’ was nominated for a Juno for Comedy Album of the Year 2022.
Nkasi Ogbonnah (she/her) is an alumnus of Second City’s House Co and was a member of Toronto Fringe’s Woke N Broke, which earned Best Ensemble from NOW Magazine. As well as her history-based sketch troupe 1623 (Pronounced like the year). She has performed at notable festivals such as JFL42 and NXNE. And is currently a member of Second City Toronto’s Mainstage. Outside of performing, Nkasi is a die-hard fan of gymnastics and space. She would go to the ISS in a heartbeat.