The Man Who Could See Through Sh*t, Reginald D. Hunter discusses his new UK tour and Sheffield show
Ahead of his upcoming show titled The Man Who Could See Through Sh*t, Reginald D. Hunter sat down for a humorously insightful conversation.
“Oh man, I didn’t… out of all the things I did not anticipate you doing, I did not anticipate you coming at me with a real question”, Reginald exclaims in surprise.
The question he is referring to is related to his previous tour, Bomb Shuffleur. He had referenced a Martin Luther King Jr. quote about how he felt when he entered the path of the Civil Rights Movement in America and how he believed that it was a nation that would not listen to black people.’
Reginald’s view was that at that point the UK felt as though there were a group of people who would still listen, so I asked him whether he felt this was still the case.
“I did not expect you to come with a question like that, something that I would have done. You’re a very dangerous young man”, he says his words tinged with humour, he pauses.
“Um, I think… and I’m not trying to see it this way. But there is a group, a core of people, who still will hear you out. I think when I look around the media, and social media, it seems like wherever you look people are just about to f**king go off.”
“If you go down to where they are at, some are mildly disgruntled or making their case. Then you have one or two idiots. But the thing is, people don’t want to have to deal with the crazies in their group. Everyone has their own extremists and their crazies.”
“Nobody wants to deal with that. The police don’t want to deal with their own crazies, feminists don’t, Jews don’t and neither do Civil Rights folks. And, since nobody wants to deal with their crazies, those are the people who end up speaking the loudest for everybody and I think it’s misrepresentative of how people really feel.”
Reginald D. Hunter’s words are apt, cutting, truthful and despite the humour of our overall conversation, more than tinged with a weariness at what is unfolding daily.
“I hope I made my points eloquently”, he intones with a laugh.
“I pray so hard that this isn’t the day I say something crazy”
Life as a comedian, one who so willingly, creatively, abrasively and cursively dissects politics, society and so much more but in a humorous tone is the verbal act of both juggling and spinning plates — particularly so in an age where saying the wrong thing can result in uproar.
But is that the answer to the world’s ails? Reginald holds the belief that most humanistic situations can (and could) be resolved with 15-minutes of considered conversation.
“It just occurred to me that one of the reasons social media seems to be so aggressive is that it is one of the places where people can go to escape civility for a while. Then you can come back to your real life, like a mild-mannered Clark Kent.”
“One of the things I think about, and there’s probably no statistic for this, is how many people who were too busy on social media for all these years to be horrible to their family members?”
You can’t deny that it is quite the salient point. If you were to begin a discussion on the merits of social media, almost immediately someone would raise the negative, horrendous content and anger that proliferates the platform, which is a fair point.
Despite the perception of a comedian as being quite a divisive vocation, and sure it can be, one thing that is starkly apparent is the geniality and politely considered manner in which he speaks.
Hailing from Georgia, America (the ‘deep South’), Reginald’s eloquence in his Southern drawl can often catch people off-guard.
“As I think about it, British people have often commented on my manners and it’s so common where I come from that I’ve been forced to examine it. How I look at it is that it’s a wonderful way of signalling your intentions to respect someone, whether they expect it or not.”
However at times throughout the course of his career, Reginald D. Hunter has managed to irk some with his comedic repertoire, so I asked about his experiences of this and how it shapes his repertoire both at the moment and going forward.
“I am not an, as they call it, a shit-stirrer nor a shit-starter. But I do consider myself a Bomb Shuffleur.”
“I try to handle difficult conversations with the same honesty and consistent patience as I do with any other subject”
“An incident happened when I was at a very sensitive time in my work, I was really trying to talk out, as a comedian, some difficult social issues and I ran across a corporate situation. A place where people have their own cliques and I was being a ‘conscientious artist', as in ‘I am trying to figure this out’. It was just that sometimes you look past it and on some days you just aren’t going to back down… we all have days when we are not having it.”
It’s the difficulty of being able to parse what can be delicate topics, you won’t always get it right in the moment.
“The things that people get mad about what I say always surprises me. They always seem to find the humour in the goofy things I say and they never dig the things I thought that they would really dig.”
After a brief moment of respite, he returns amidst a wave of continuous chuckles to tell me about his upcoming tour, The Man Who Could See Through Sh*t, which comes to Sheffield early next month.
“First of all, I need to apologise for the title. Sometimes they come to you six months before the tour and they’re like ‘what’s the name of the show, what’s the name of the SHOW today?’ and you get mad and yell, The Man Who Could See Through Sh*t, and they go alright and you go, aww… and that’s kind of what happened.”
While perhaps not titled as controversially as some of his previous tours, it certainly lingers long after its mention.
The challenge Reginald has set this time is a comedic intervention that aims to both ponder and separate what is true and what is real, we really are living in a time where socio-political issues are inherently supercharged and just how can we digest that?
“If I’m honest, at this stage. It’s all in my head, but it’s like a shook-up snow globe that aint settled yet.”
“Comedy at the moment seems to be very self-referential. People are very inward, nobody’s commenting socially or with any range. So… it’s all stuff like that.”
Reginald D. Hunter will be performing The Man Who Could See Through Sh*t at The Leadmill on Wednesday, 8 November 2023.
You can get tickets from www.reginalddhunter.co.uk