Well before COVID-19, there was a weekend where many of LA and NYC’s very best comedians that you needed to know were swept up to Vegas to tape a special stand-up comedy series that was entirely put up by the one and only Will Smith. Called This Joka, it was going to be a new introduction to many of our absolute favorite comedians that we personally try to highlight whenever we can here at TCB.
So, not only did COVID-19 put a pause, interrupt the scheduling of, or even outright shut down so much comedy, but This Joka temporarily fell victim to originally be at the ill-fated short form streaming service, Quibi. When the news broke that Quibi was closing up shop, This Joka was still on the docket to premiere and we were worried that this whole series would never get to be seen by you, us, and everyone else that needs to see the future of stand-up comedy.
Thankfully, Roku bought up Quibi’s library including This Joka and we will all get treated to see Will Smith’s curated stand-up series that features Baron Vaughn, Sam Tallent, Punkie Johnson, Rosebud Baker, Clayton English, Chris Estrada, David Gborie, Sean Patton, Megan Gailey, Rell Battle, Shane Torres, Vanessa Gonzalez, Daphinque Springs, Martin Urbano, Jackie Fabulous, and Christi Chiello.
Many have since gone to new heights in their career by the way. Estrada has his own Hulu series in the works, Rosebud got her own special, and Sam became an acclaimed author.
Come Fri. Mar. 4th, you’ll be able to stream This Joka for free on Roku. You can get a taste of what’s to come (and get nostalgic about comedy right before COVID) with the trailer here.