QPOC comedian Jaboukie Young-White visits Tulane

Ori Tsameret, Intersections Editor

Jaboukie Young-White talks with TUCP over Zoom
Lucy Sartor

This past Thursday, Tulane University Campus Programming hosted their first Zoom-based event: a Q&A session with comedian Jaboukie Young-White. 

The Q&A was moderated by Tulane junior and TUCP comedy chair Lucy Sartor. As part of the Zoom Q&A platform, students could directly submit questions to Sartor and Young-White, which they could respond to. 

The session covered a wide variety of topics, spanning across Young-White’s personal life and history, his experiences within the comedy industry, and Twitter, on which he has cultivated a large presence

Notable moments in the session include his discussion of his pre-show ritual, which includes trying local food and exploring local cultural institutions, as well as travel anecdotes, his controversial tweets and the threats Twitter has issued against him.

Young-White also discussed his rise to fame through a Buzzfeed interview about his comedic style on Instagram and the way his career has progressed since then. He reflected on his experiences auditioning for “American Vandal,” working with A24 and an upcoming series titled “Fairfax” which follows teenage boys navigating the “hype beast” culture surrounding Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, California. He also discussed his experiences with fame and the fame of those in proximity to him, namely singer Kehlani.

While addressing aspiring comedians, Young-White advised focusing on doing what they’re most interested in and building a strong foundation before diversifying one’s skillset from there. He also posited that one should have a concrete amount of good material before hoping to gain any fame or recognition. 

As a young, LGBTQ person of color working in a competitive media field and rising through ranks, Young-White’s presence at Tulane, a predominantly white institution, was doubtlessly impactful. “I think it’s incredibly valuable for us to create space for artists on our campus from underrepresented backgrounds,” Sartor said. “Especially with our campus, it’s important for us to utilize that and bring representations that our students of color and queer students can relate to and look up to.” 

Sartor further stresses that Young-White is among the young people with a large platform that speaks out and produces content that is relevant to younger generations, specifically Generation Z. She went on to comment that in the current political climate, the kind of comedy Young-White offers, which centers on questioning of authority and preexisting systems especially resonates with today’s youth. “[Jaboukie] does such a beautiful job capturing the mindset of people our age in these crazy times we’re living in. He really is a voice for our generation when it comes to wit and humor … He is such an incredible example of just like being bold in your own way. He really is an example of how young people can grow and move up in the world today,” Sartor said. 

TUCP expects to host a variety of speakers, musicians, and comedians on most upcoming Thursdays. Students interested in participating should follow the TUCP Instagram page for updates.