2002 Champ Rodney Perry to host the Opening Rounds of the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition 2006 March 3rd - 5th @ Pepperbelly's
2002 was a major milestone year for the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition & Festival. 2002 was also quite a year for Chi-town native by way of the Bay Area, comedian Rodney Perry. The critically acclaimed Competition was awarded its first primetime television special on March 16th at Oakland‘s historic Paramount Theatre. High-energy jokester Rodney Perry was there and he did his thing. As the brightest star that night, he beat the best the national field had to offer. He was awarded Comedian Of The Year Honors as the Competition’s hands-down winner. Perry has been a very busy and increasingly visible comedic personality ever since.
Affectionately dubbed “The Triggerman Of Comedy,” the physical funnyman has literally been all over the world of entertainment. He’s a daily fixture on music legend Stevie Wonder’s KJLH radio station’s morning show in Los Angeles, the Home Team with Cliff Winston. When not on the air, he hosts his own weekly stand-up showcase at L.A.’s Comedy Union, presenting today’s best up and coming comic talent. He was featured on Cedric the Entertainer’s highly successful stand-up tour and follow-up concert DVD, Cedric the Entertainer’s Starting Line-Up.
He later appeared as Cedric’s crazy cousin in the hit comedy, Johnson Family Vacation. In 2006 he’ll be featured as the off-the-chain comedian “Darryl” in filmmaker Tony Spires’ ode to the Black Comedian, Tears Of A Clown, starring Don “D.C.” Curry and William L. Johnson. If that wasn’t enough, Perry has two more films scheduled for release in 2006.
After she found out that Perry received the nod from producer Tony Spires, to host the all-important opening weekend of the 2006 Bay Area Black Comedy Competition & Festival in March, Miss Eloquence Jones, our roving entertainment correspondent, thought she’d better jump on an interview with this rising star “before he really gets busy!”
MISS ELOQUENCE JONES'S CELEBRITY RUNDOWN
E.J. Hello Rodney. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you. I’ve been a big fan of yours since you won the Competition in 2002. That “girl with no legs” bit had me and my girls on the floor! You are a sick man. How on earth did you come up with that premise?
R.P. I was hosting a show @ the Hollywood Park Casino and two girls came in to the room with the biggest booties that I had ever seen...as the girls past me I thought to myself what if they had weak legs? I immediately took that thought on stage and that bit was born.
E.J. Where does your humor usually come from?
R.P. There was a time when I made up or manufactured most of my material. At this point in my career I live everything that I talk about on stage. Real life is so much funnier than the stuff that I used to make up.
E.J. Share with our readers out there, what made you want to become a stand-up comedian?
R.P I think that Stand-up comedians are born, although you can learn the mechanics of being a comedian. You can practice stage presence, delivery, set-up and punch. If you work hard you can become a quality comedian. I was born a Stand-up comedian. I knew it very early in my life. I had a teacher (Mr. Thompson) that would let me perform at the end of the school day...I would do impressions of Ali and Cosell at 7 years old. Most comedians cite Richard Pryor as an influence and he was that for me too, but Eddie Murphy made being a Stand-up comedian attainable for me. He was everything that I was... young, black, and cussin'.
E.J. What makes you so funny?
R.P. Confidence, Confidence, Confidence...No comedian is funny until he or she believes it. You might get some laughs but you ain’t funny 'til you know it! ? You can’t sell something to an audience that you don’t believe.
E.J. I see you as a physical and very energetic comedian. How would you describe your show?
R.P. I am constantly evolving as a comedian. At one point in my career I was just a physical comedian, then I began to incorporate music. Then it became important to me to be able to stand there and deliver a quality show flat-footed with no dives or music. Ultimately I’m all those things. I’m a spiritual man; thoughtful, physical, for young and old, a comedian with the hip-hop feel appeal to him.
E.J. When did you decide you wanted to take the comedy thing to the next level and become a film actor?
R.P. Making my way into movies and TV has been a natural progression for me. Movies and TV are for me simply a means to an end. They serve as a way to make me more famous so that I can continue to do Stand-up comedy. I’m not one of those guys that will finally get their big film or TV break and never do Stand-up again.
E.J. What did you do for a living prior to doing comedy fulltime?
R.P. I served in the U. S. Navy for 8 years. I moved to LA in 98 after I exited the military. I managed an apartment building for a year and a half. I was a secretary (Yeoman) in the Navy so I did some temp work as a civilian.
E.J. What was your first big break?
R.P. I don’t believe that there is ever one thing that makes you, it’s always a series of events. For the sake of the question, I would have to say the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition, not the year I won but 2001. Cedric the Entertainers' road manager Kelvin Bland, scouted me during that contest and although I did not win that year, he saw something. One month after the competition I was on tour with Ced. We played every major venue in the country. That started relationships and a chain reaction of good fortune for Rodney Perry and The Perry Family.
E.J. What’s your ultimate fantasy? And be careful, Rodney! I’m a professional.
R.P. Wow... that’s a tough one. I have five children: Hope, Devin, Rachelle, Raina and Rihana. My ultimate fantasy would be to be in a position to give these people anything that they want, need, and deserve.
E.J. I have to admit, a sistah was kinda’ feelin’ you in ‘02. I love me some chocolate bruthas! What’s you marital status? You know a sistah has to ask.
R.P. I’m married. My wife Angela and I just celebrated our 9-year anniversary. She keeps me grounded. She won’t hesitate to let me know when I’m full of Shi-?
E.J. We sistahs are known for doing that! Sounds like you have a good woman by your side. She better not slip! Rodney, who has been the biggest influence or inspiration in your life?
R.P. My Mommy for sho...Venice Hunt Coleman. I think we all have that one person that really matters that we won’t do without. And she is that for me. I love you Mommy.
E.J. Your mother must be proud of her son. Is she also your personal hero?
R.P. Yes, She is my champion. She is a winner in every since of the word. She is a leader not a follower. She is everything you would want to be.
E.J. How do you spell “relaxation?”
R.P. Comedy, If not that, then John Madden Football (when I’m winning of course. When I’m loosing, I’m stressed out like a mug.)
E.J. Mr. Perry, I’m not going to let you men and your video games worry me! Rodney, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
R.P. I’m already inside of my 5-year window. Look for me to be a real Hollywood player in the next 2 to 3 years in acting and comedy.
E.J. What is your ultimate professional goal?
R.P. If I could have my "Ray," as an actor, I'd love to play James Brown in the James Brown Story. He is a very interesting dude and he has a story that alot of people do not know.
E.J. What has the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition meant to you?
R.P. The Bay Area Black Comedy Competition has been many things to me. It has marked my career. From ‘96 when I wasn’t good enough to make the cut to even enter. To later on getting eliminated in the first round. To 2001 when I made it to the semi-finals. To 2002 when I won the Competition. I’m From Chicago, IL, but I am a Bay Area Comedian. So the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition is a benchmark for excellence. If you can do it there you can do it anywhere.
E.J. No two people are the same. What motivates me may not even phase you. What is your life’s guiding principal?
R.P. Hard work...and Don’t try to circumvent life. If you work hard you will be rewarded. If you tackle life head on and don’t try to go around it, you will save yourself loads of time.
E.J. What words of wisdom do you have for young people trying to break into “the biz?”
R.P. Don’t give up... This race isn’t given to the swift.
E.J. If you couldn’t be a comedian, what would you become?
R.P. That is not an option... I DON’T HAVE A PLAN "B"
E.J. I heard that! Rodney, Tony Spires told me that you were a heavy brutha with a wealth of positive insight. In fact, he’s the one who told me to watch you back in 2002. I sincerely hope that the Competition continues the 20 year tradition of helping to launch the careers of talented comedians, like yourself, who represent the contest well and contribute to the legacy of the BABCCF. You’re making a impact and a difference. All the best to you.
R.P. Thank you, Miss Eloquence. I appreciate that.
Comedian Rodney Perry can be seen hosting the opening rounds of the 20th Anniversary Edition of The Bay Area Black Comedy Competition & Festival, March 3rd-5th, 2006 at Pepperbelly’s Comedy Club and Theatre in Fairfield, California.