So A Jew and Black Guy walked into The Punchline on Saturday, November 25th to find Angela Miller schmoozing at the bar with Roy Wood Jr. Roy greeted us with a middle finger from across the room. I knew this cat was funny, but his immediate banter with us was hilarious. He stepped on Stylez’ white Nike’s and made some ultra white comment that Stylez shot back with, “What, you rockin’ some TJMaxx Z. Cavarricci’s?” This was a great start to an awesome night of comedy!
The show was hosted by Billy Wayne Davis and featured by Matt Davis (who was so pro it was a delight to watch him work). The headliner, Roy Wood Jr., came to the stage with the classic wit he is known for. He exploded the crowd into laughter with antics like, “If you’re a black man and past 35 and have no girlfriend, your grandma is going to assume you’re playin’ for the other team. She’ll say things like don’t worry baby I got your secret, it is safe with me.”
Roy has coined his humor to be “a colorblind type of comedy,” bringing together all types of people and races and religions to a common type of funny. This made me think that it is great that other comics are trying to forge all types of crowds like A Jew and a Black Guy and The Stereohypes do every night. Roy Wood Jr. keeps his audience waiting for the next one liner and anticipating the next schtick. The show was a great example of a well planned set from start to finish.
We got to sit in on the Short Bus Heroes podcast after the first show with Jamie Bendall and crew. Basically, we had to wait to interview Roy. What a pleasure it was to watch five comics just shoot the bull. We gathered a lot of the info we needed just by listening to their laid-back format. Roy Wood Jr. got his start in comedy back in college in 1998 at Florida A&M (one of the black colleges I actually applied to back in the day!) . Roy joked of how he had to pretend to be a Florida State student to get onto the campus comedy shows. He went on to say Tallahassee’s comedy scene was limiting and he had to hit the road in a Ford Focus with limited gas money on runs like Birmingham, Tallahassee, and Atlanta.
Roy said the west coast comics are always worried about getting seven TV-ready minutes and so worried about each performance, ‘cause anyone could be in the audience and make their career, while NYC comics can go out as much as seven times a night and get up. The NYC comedy community is about the craft and putting in the time, leaving us southern-based comics with fewer opportunities and less respect. But his bread and butter is in the southern clubs and theatres.
Roy Wood Jr. is now on the TBS sitcom Sullivan and Sons with fellow comics Steve Byrne, Ahmed Ahmed, and Owen Benjamin (who we interviewed a few weeks back). Roy states that TV has become crazy competitive and comic-based sitcoms are on the decline. There is a channel for everything now and it has saturated the airwaves with a lot of fresh ideas as well as garbage, trite television. Roy has made his transition from his Birmingham radio days of prank calls to a big asset on television and Sullivan and Son. I smell a Roy Wood Jr. television show in the future! Roy said he has to have a shot if Dave Attell can have a hit cable show where he sits and looks at porn for a half hour!
Sure I was schmoozing with Roy at the bar…I mean, hello? He is so charming! As I sit at the bar and wait for the interview to start, I hear several local Atlanta comedians bantering with each other. The main conversation is about Roy. Seems he is considered one of the top 5 most liked comedians in the business. I am even more curious to sit down with him now and pick his brain. Meet the man as it were! Roy talks to me about his “pre show” prep. The most Roy does is pre-focus IF he is doing different joke order or new material. Then and only then does he go into pre-show mode. Other than that, he just plays Black Ops or texts. Sounds kinda like me…except with Facebook and texting. Mr. Wood told me he really likes to “sit in” for part of the show to “gauge the audience.” After Roy, who is quite the gentleman, heard of my recent heartache…he ordered me a double shot of Crown. After a toast with his Crown and coke and my double, he asked my input on a new joke he is working on. I felt very honored! After all is said and done… I learned a lot. I learned we really do operate as comics in a very similar fashion. He was real. The interview…scratch that. The time I spent with Roy was amazing!
We look forward to working with Roy Wood Jr. in the near future and thank him for the contacts and help getting industry out to The Stereohypes showcase January 26th at Gotham NYC. Roy said you can find him by Googling ROY WOOD JR. and if you’re not intelligent enough to find him you’re not the right audience anyway. Roy said his momma named him Roy Wood Jr. You should be able to do the rest. Look for this cat everywhere!
-Angela Miller and A Jew and a Black Guy