Since we announced the Ron Artest Comedy Tour, it's safe to say that our excitement has been tempered with a bit of, well, honest skepticism. The truth is, as mind-bendingly hilarious as Artest's general on-and-off-court hijinks have been, there was never strong evidence that this could translate into onstage stand-up comedy. Until now.
The above video was taken at Caroline's on Broadway in NYC, the second stop on Ron-Ron's Ultimate Comedy Tour, and for his second show ever, I gotta say that he's got plenty of stage presence. While there are still a few timing issues here and there, Ron's got the gift, with rapid-fire jokes about his name change ("I was smoking crack"), how hard it is to entertain a crowd ("I could, um, take a shit on the stage"), and even a well-delivered ad-lib when he stopped telling jokes to hug a friend in the crowd.
For a sense of how much his comedy has evolved over the course of just two shows, take a look at video below from his first show at the Hollywood Improv. While there's less of a framework for Ron-Ron to make his own jokes, he fields two sets of questions and handles himself well, especially towards the end when he tells the Robert Duval-looking comedian asking him questions that he has no idea how much he made his rookie year because he was "so drunk the whole time."
Long live Metta World Peace!