I have been doing a decent amount of interviews and people usually ask me who are my inspirations in stand up comedy. Usually, I just rattle off the answers without much thought but today I started really thinking about it and here are the people that in some way shape or form got me to where I am in the comedy business.
1) Bernie Mac
I saw Bernie Mac on the Def Comedy Jam serious when I was a kid. I was just buggin out because half the time I didn’t know what the hell he was saying. But it was his swagger and confidence that really impressed me. There is a story about his first def comedy jam appearance. So the guy before Bernie Mac was totally bombing and if you dont know how a black crowd acts then watch Showtime at the Apollo. They will boo the living hell out of you. I have been booed by an all black audience once. It sucked! Anyways, no one knew who Bernie Mac was. He was pretty known in his hometown of Chicago but in NYC he was relativelt unknown. So since the guy before him bombed, the crowd was getting restless. Bernie Mac comes on the stage and says ” I aint scared of you muthafuckas! DJ Kick It!” That is some nutty shit! Here is pure Bernie Mac goodness. REST IN PEACE!
2) Dave Chappelle
Dave Chappelle was one of the main reasons I wanted to do stand up comedy. In the beginning of college, my buddies taped a copy of Dave Chappelle’s Killing them Softly. Sure I saw Dave on def comedy jam and everyone knows him from Half Baked but I never really saw a set like Daves. It was so good to me because it had so many layers of funny. That is what I think sets apart Dave Chappelle from a lot of comedians. He can tell a story that not only is funny on the surface but it has social commentary in it.
The personal story of Dave I have is quite random. I was filling in as a host at the Laugh Factory. This was when Dave went to Africa and everyone was saying he was crazy. Anyways, I am on stage doing a little stand up. Now I was at the Laugh Factory everyweek at that point and I was doing pretty well. I thought I was pretty damn good. Anyways, the manager of the club comes running in and she is motioning for me to get off stage. I was thinking what in the hell is she is doing. She motions to the back and I saw Dave Chappelle and he wanted to get on stage. If you don’t know about the comedy business, if a star like Chappelle makes an unannounced set, he going on stage. No time limit as well. Anyways, when I bring up Dave Chappelle, the whole place shook. It was nutty. He got on stage and did a 40 minute set. I was completely humbled. He KILLED! After the set, we chatted for a while and he imparted a lot of good advice to me about this business. He is a good dude.
A lot of you know PK as the founder of Kollaboration. They started off a small talent show to something really huge now. PK was been a big reason I have been in the stand up comedy. I met PK when I was in college. I was Junior at UCLA and I was at a banquet. He was running a little late, and they asked me to fill in. He saw me perform for a little bit and we talked. At the time, he was hosting Asian Night at the Laugh Factory. He did that for 3 years. Crazy talk! Anyways, PK got me much stage time. From gigs at the Laugh Factory to gigs at Kollaboration. He also encouraged me to do stand up full time. So Mom and Dad, you know who to blame.
PK’s passion for empowering asians and his work ethic is something that all people need to learn from. Check out his websites:
4) Bobby Lee
Bobby Lee is a very influential to me. I met him when I competed in Kollaboration. Bobby asked for my number and he called me. He said he needed someone fat and retarded looking for a sketch on MadTV. That sketch turned out to be more than a one time thing. Because of him, I have been on MadTV for about 10 episodes. He also got me my first commercial agent. You can say what you want about Bobby but outside of Margaret Cho, he has been in the limelight for a long time. He is truly a hall of famer in my book.
Once again, this is my list of people that have somehow affected me and inspired me to be where I am. Remember, to leave your comments for you chances to win my dvd for free!