Kenice Mobley Is Absurd and Analytical on Her Debut Album Follow Up QuestionPhoto by Mindy Tucker Comedy Reviews
It’s high time you know Kenice Mobley’s name—and not just because she was included in Vulture’s 2021 list of “Comedians You Should and Will Know.” In 2021, she performed on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and this year she was featured in the Netflix is A Joke Festival’s “Introducing…” showcase. Most notably, though, Mobley released a hilarious, confident debut album, Follow Up Question, out today via Blonde Medicine.
The Brooklyn-based comedian quickly establishes herself as both a bit of a dork (she somehow made getting high into homework) and unabashedly filthy. Mobley succinctly captures the dilemma of the millennial woman who wants to be smart and self-fulfilled… and also get laid (even if that involves thirsting after your therapist, which in her case, it does). Mobley’s unconventional and creative word choice accentuates her crassest jokes, culminating in a metaphor at the end of the album about genitalia and cheese. Some of her best stories involve her mother, who she’s extremely close with. These anecdotes are not just funny, but also help us get to know Mobley better as a person. Whether she’s talking about how her mom’s figure has “changed the pornography I can watch” or asking the audience about cum in jars, Mobley mines sophomoric comedic veins in hilarious and surprisingly incisive ways.
The album also shines when Mobley takes ideas and expands on them to their logical (or in many cases, illogical) conclusions—especially in the case of the aforementioned semen joke. She sublimely combines the analytical and silly, like with her invocation of (presumably apocryphal) statistics. This juxtaposition between the seemingly sensible and the outlandish is just as apparent in Mobley’s delivery. Most of the time, her cadence is matter-of-fact, until she pauses and draws out moments at precisely the right time. She’ll even add in an accent or sound effect if the occasion warrants it, or a throwaway comment at the end of the sentence that is underplayed in just the right way (“My tits are fine, don’t look them up”). Her varied delivery keeps listeners engaged.
Mobley’s debut record is daring, particularly because of just how much she relies on crowd work. She begins by asking the audience if they picked up any pandemic hobbies, riffing on their answers and eventually working her way over to pre-written material. The comedian clearly has a rapport with the crowd; it’s not just any performer that can put people at ease enough that they’ll get into the details about the best receptacles for semen. These back-and-forths are a staple of Follow Up Question, and the fact that her responses are so consistently funny speaks to Mobley’s quick wit.
Let’s hope there’s more follow up questions to come.
Clare Martin is a cemetery enthusiast and Paste’s assistant comedy editor. Go harass her on Twitter @theclaremartin.