News & Insights

New Outside Voice playlists celebrate comedians whose humor uplifts their communities

Outside Voice, our annotated playlist series highlighting creative people of color, continues with playlists from two comedians who inject some much-needed joy into the cultural conversation around race and gender.

Next up in Outside Voice’s Season 3 line-up come a pair of playlists from Subhah Agarwal and Clark Jones—two inspiring comedians who are keen on using their voices to deliver impact, as well as punchlines.

Between the musical tracks that hype them up, mellow their jitters, and strengthen their familial bonds, you’ll hear how Agarwal and Jones use amusing personal anecdotes as a means to spotlight diverse perspectives and spread empathy amongst their audiences. Honest commentary is best served with a spoonful of humor, and these two entertainers prove that comedy can be an effective catalyst to advance important conversations about diversity and representation.

Subhah Agarwal, comedian/ actor/ writer

“Part of the beauty of being a standup comedian is you don't have to wait for somebody to give you permission to make or develop ideas.”

Subhah Agarwal, who cites Indian comic Russell Peters as her earliest inspiration, earned her stripes as a backpack-armored teenager who crashed open-mic nights at sketchy Chicago clubs. After realizing that success in the industry demanded self-assertion, she broke into entertainment through the gritty world of stand-up. Agarwal’s footprint has spanned an impressive array of comedy writing, acting, and performing. Recalling the significant impact of feeling represented in the media, Agarwal hopes to continue leading with her personal stories and thereby challenging the calcified parts of public consciousness.

“I feel like people have become more entrenched in what they believe and are unwilling to listen to people with different perspectives", she says. “A joke is… like a little bit of sugar to make it go down easier. Even if you don't agree with me, you can see where I'm coming from and it opens your mind just a little bit.”

Clark Jones, comedian/ writer

“The great thing about being an artist… no matter what you're going through, you can write your way out of it.”

According to Clark Jones, a Black comedian and writer who describes his style as Martin Lawrence-meets-Norm MacDonald, a person’s word is not only a mighty weapon, but a powerful tool for overcoming any hurdle thrown their way. Indeed, Jones has some expertise on the matter—having built an entire career by the might of his own words and the steadiness of his tenacity.

“If I go after a comic who's making fun of Black people when I go on stage, it'll erase whatever they tried to put out there,” he says. “Because they [the audience] will say, ‘Oh, well, I'm looking at a Black dude and he’s nothing like what you just said.’”

Equipped with an astute emotional awareness, Jones also urges the importance of protecting our vibe—or, more aptly, expanding our vibe through the power of music.

We hope Agarwal’s and Jones’s words give you plenty to laugh—and think—about, inspiring you to find joy in the struggle of whatever creative challenge you're up against. Keep tuning into the new season of Outside Voice to hear from more creatives from underrepresented communities.

Looking for something a little more custom? Let's talk.