Al Jackson
Al Jackson Credit: Courtesy Al Jackson

It’s debatable whether Al Jackson left his profession as a middle school teacher in Miami to pursue a dream in stand-up comedy, or left because he had too much material from being a middle-school teacher in Miami not to pursue stand-up comedy. Either way, the smart comic is more than obliged to incorporate life lessons he learned during his time at the head of the class. His tale about the couldn’t-give-a-shit student who read a report on the Wright brothers for a Black History Month-themed assignment is practically precious (and only slightly bleak).

Add in Jackson’s endearing tendency to snicker at his own jokes (or at the setups), like he honestly can’t restrain himself from laughing at his own hilarity, and he seems like a pretty down-to-earth, chill comic. But there’s some fire in his stand-up, and there’s definitely some vulgarity. In one joke about “relationship sex,” Jackson explains that ho-hum sex with someone with whom you share a “long-term, loving committed relationship” is often a result of that partner’s being all too familiar with you. Because there’s not much thrill in having sex with someone who knows your allergies. “That’s why spies get so much pussy. There’s danger involved!”

There are plenty of other nuggets of profound knowledge to be had from the Jackson—proving that his days as a public schoolteacher aren’t too far behind him. A favorite that the comedian plans to impart to his own child one day: “When going down the Soul Train line, don’t start doing the robot too soon—because it’ll take forever to get to the end.” See, still doing good, still educating.