Heywood Banks and “Yeah, toast!”


By D’Arcy Norman

For Arnulfo’s birthday, we went to see Heywood Banks at a comedy club. He was quite funny in a goofy, self-deprecating way. The show was completely clean (I didn’t realize I’d bought tickets to a “family friendly” show), which amazed me since we’ve been to many comedy club acts that were hilarious but also full of sexual humor and lots of profanity.

The whole time we were there, a girl–probably ten years old–kept turning to her dad after each joke and asking him, “why is everybody laughing?” This reminded me how much humor has to do with audience… like the fact that Banks wasn’t cussing didn’t necessarily mean that his humor would hit the right nerve with younger kids.

This is something that I can observe but have no aspirations to “tailor” humor for any audience, short of the ridiculous faces and noises I make to entertain Liam. In fact, when it comes to my writing (and real life, come to think of it), I pretty much never try to be funny. Humor is effort-ful for me which somehow undoes its possibility of being effective with a listener. Being funny: right up there with being able to sing. Hey, a gal can’t have it all.

But Heywood Banks is funny AND he sings. Click below for his signature “Yeah, TOAST!” routine. By the way, after our show, these five teenagers pulled pieces of actual toasted bread out of their bags to have a photo opp with Banks. That’s fame!



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