No longer encumbered by a reelection campaign or the responsibilities of being president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Shamann Walton is showing the full breadth of his interests.
On the way to winning a second term last November, the District 10 supervisor released a rap video called “My Reelection” set to the same R&B tune sampled by Notorious B.I.G. in his 1994 hit “Juicy.” He co-wrote an autobiography published in February titled From Juvenile Hall to City Hall: Your Resume Can Change. The natural next step was stand-up comedy. He performed a set Saturday night at the Potrero Hill dive bar and dance club Il Pirata.
Dressed in jeans, two-tone Nikes and a flat-brim SF baseball cap, Walton looked relaxed before a packed crowd of folks who had paid $30 a pop to get in. After signing copies of his book, Walton paced the small stage, riffing on topics from the media's treatment of him to white people’s fondness for bragging about their “Black friends.”
Walton admitted he’s been rehearsing all week and listened to gospel music on the way to the show to calm his nerves.
“I’m nervous because if I say the wrong shit, I won’t have no job on Monday,” said Walton to laughs from the crowd.
Walton also drew chuckles by promising not to use the N-word, a reference to a controversy last year in which the supervisor drew criticism for repeatedly using the word during a verbal confrontation with a sheriff’s cadet at City Hall. That pledge didn’t last long, though.
During his 10-minute set, the supervisor poked fun at environmentally conscious virtue-signalers who think everything needs to be “green.” Walton said someone once asked him if his job was green.
“Motherfucka, I don’t know,” he said. “The money green. Shit.”
He added that he doesn’t care what the media says about him. Still, Walton couldn’t resist firing back in response to allegations in the press in February that he had single handedly delayed a much-anticipated hearing on reparations for San Francisco’s Black community by taking a weeklong vacation in Colombia that included a stop at a Hooters restaurant in Medellín.
“What did the media say? ‘Supervisor Walton does not come to hearing because he was partying in Colombia and set reparations back,’” he said. “How the fuck I set reparations back? What about them 300 motherfucking other years?”
The supervisor ended his set by thanking everyone for coming and promising, “I’m going to make sure that we cure the homeless problem.
“You all know when I’m gonna get it done?" he said. "Eventually.”
Josh Koehn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org