N.M. - Laughter never had it so good, as when the Navajo comic duo
James and Ernie impersonated 1970s love-gone-wrong singers and Americas
top Indian beauties mocked their preoccupation with the weight of
their crowns and silver earrings.
duo James Junes and Ernie Tsosie III began the night of comedy onstage
at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center with Junes mentioning NHA.
said, "Navajo Housing Authority?"
Junes said, "Thats No Happiness Allowed."
imitated a shy Indian man making his first moves towards the Indian
princess at the pow wow, with the inevitable wrong words coming
out of his mouth.
a big girl like you doing in a small place like this!"
duo gave a comic description of Navajos giving the wrong directions,
drawing them with a stick in the sand. There were details like,
"Turn right at that dead cow, not the dead horse, but the dead
cow. No, thats all wrong, go the other way."
there were the questions that tourists ask. Tsosie wearing a buffalo
cap impersonated tourists saying, "Do you all still eat the
still eat the buffalo," Tsosie said, "but just the wings,
with some ranch dressing."
is where you go to see everyone. "Wal-Mart is the gathering
of the nations, you even see your old babysitter there," Junes
imitating the smug faces of the cart-grabbers at Wal-Mart, said
Indian mothers are always warning their kids to behave. "Im
going to take you back to PHS, thats where I got you in the
womens wigs, James and Ernie drew non-stop laughter as they
sang and danced to "Man! I feel like a woman." They kept
going, impersonating love-gone-wrong singers, heavy metal headbangers
and linedancers from the 70s and 80s.
Santa Ana Pueblo and lead singer of the reggae-rock band Native
Roots, slid into a comedy role and was a hit at the cultural centers
show, "Shake, Giggle and Laff: A Night of Comedy."
his hair down with an apology to elders present, Shkeme began by
imitating that one hippie chick, always standing beside the stage,
and free-flow dancing with her hair streaming down.
if there were any Santa Anas from the Pueblo, Shkeme said, "We
all came in the same truck." Then he slid into feast talk,
thats the gentle persuasion of Pueblo women when they urge
you to eat, eat, eat at Pueblo feasts.
to Spanish rule, Shkeme said, "Weve been under 500 years
of Spanish rule, now the Spanish work for us at the casinos."
"old school" dance was hilarious, imitating Indian women
and men on the dance floor, rubbing their ribs with their fists
and kicking up their heels with Indian dance moves.
Indian New Mexico Paulene Shebala, Navajo/Zuni Pueblo, praised her
grandmother from Tohajilee, saying she was the first one in
town to get a cell phone.
and Miss Indian World Onawa Lacy, Navajo, served as comic hosts
and mocked their preoccupations with the weight of their crowns
and earrings. Shebala and Lacy teased one another in mock rivalry
as they interrupted one another, boasting of their accomplishments.
the Stallion, actually Navajo, began by saying, "Im originally
from L.A., thats Laguna Acoma."
a grand-deprecating style, he said, "If Freddie Fender and
Lilly Munster ever had a child together - youre looking at
a Mexican sombrero, he imitated his Navajo friends on the dance
floor. He said hes glad his wife of 22 years never got any
tattoos. The trouble comes after the grandchildren arrive.
would say, "Grandmas bad! Look at her tattoos!"
to never go to the fair with your girlfriend because your in-laws
will catch you, he drew big laughs gliding onstage riding the sizzler
at the fair.
youth comedian Brigadier General, 13, said her father, Dell the
Stallion, actually dances disco around the house.
General, dressed as a military general, said theyre so poor
they cant buy shocks for the car. She imitated bouncing up
and down at the stoplight. Then glancing to the side, she said,
"Just go - theres a guy from my math class."
youths to stay off drugs and stay in school, she said, "Dream
big." Referring to the University of New Mexico, she added,
"You know what they call UNM - University near mommy."
comedians came together to raise funds for Indian youth ambassadors
planning to visit Maori in New Zealand. The Americans for Indian
Opportunity is a non-profit group, which encourages leadership skills
and cultural exchange. It plans to host Maori visitors here in September.
night began with a Pueblo buffet at the Pueblo Harvest Café
at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center Feb. 28, featuring Tiwa tacos,
with fry bread, pinto beans, green chile, red chile and bread pudding.
McCullah, wearing a hot pink wig and leopard skin accessories, greeted
visitors to comedy night. McCullah, Navajo, currently serves as
the marketing director for the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and
formerly served as general manager of the Navajo Nations KTNN
Junes from Farmington and Ernie Tsosie from Window Rock, Ariz.,
became an instant success after they began performing a year ago.
The duo has been in constant demand, performing on the Navajo Nation,
in Las Vegas and at the New Mexico Fair and Native American Music