Set deep in the heart of Atlanta, Sam Jay takes to the stage for an intimate, well-written and funny stand-up comedy. With jokes ranging from racism and equality across to long term relationships, Sam brings a cynical edge to the table that’s later quelled with a surprisingly heartfelt third act and a powerful message about our current political and societal climate.
Interestingly, 3am In The Morning hard-cuts to the stage without any fanfare or the usual introductions you’d expect. With a Jazz score reinforcing the setting, Sam wastes little time getting right to the nitty-gritty of her routine. The crudeness begins almost immediately, with memories of her first sexual encounters and the “job” side of oral sex. This isn’t just here for shocks though, instead this sets the foundations to show exactly who Sam is and what she stands for.
As she starts discussing her wife and their trips abroad, this long-form story about a plane ride across the Atlantic is laced with several tangents about various different topics. From “audacious” white people flaunting their stolen goods in museums to Elon Musk using space as a playground, there’s some playful but lighthearted banter that uses race to fuel the jokes. And it works really well.
Of course, this approach this will undoubtedly rub some people up the wrong way and see this as an attack. To be honest though, there’s nothing here that would suggest that being the motive. It’s also not the first time this has been used throughout a routine. After all, Chris Rock controversially used race as part of his act way back in 1996’s “Bring The Pain.”
There’s some clever juxtapositions about the President and how he’s the “first white-black person” in the White House along with plenty of accents and well-paced jokes that prevent the stand-up from ever stagnating. The self-deprecating tone is teased throughout the hour until a really heartfelt and strikingly honest examination of parenthood lifts the veil and really shows what this woman is all about. It’s a great way to end the show and the intimate camera rolls of her backstage only further reinforce that.
3 In The Morning is a surprisingly well written and honest stand-up comedy. This is a comic that exudes both confidence and vulnerability in equal doses and does so armed with some wickedly funny jokes along the way. If you’re looking for a funny stand-up and can take to the tone, this is well worth a watch.
Verdict - 7.5/10