Completing this interview with Comedian Red Grant has been one of my most exciting opportunities. Like many others, and much like myself, Red Grant took a situation that would defeat most, and used it to build what would ultimately become a promising career in comedy. For some, he might be a new face, but Grant has been here for nearly 20 years, grinding his way to the top. Most would agree that he has finally made it, and the reward is proving to be so sweet. Sweet enough that he’s currently juggling multiple tours, multiple television comedy specials, a sitcom in the works, and probably something else brewing as we speak. He’s worked with many of today’s biggest talents to precede him, including Martin Lawrence, Shaquille O’Neal, and of course Katt Williams, who extended an offer for Grant to appear beside him in the 2007 comedy ‘American Hustle’. Grant has proven that with hard work, dedication, and trust is God, all things are possible. He’s living his dream life with one important rule in mind: TurnUp! He has shown that he is definitely a comedy legend in the makings.
So, with Red Grant currently out on the road from city to city once again with Katt Williams, he’s taking what little time he has to work a little press in between shows. Luckily, we were blessed with the opportunity of catching up with him not only about his foray into comedy and the different things he himself has been blessed to work on, but also his vision as a comedian, and exactly where he sees things heading for his life and career.
Surely, many comics don’t make it for very long in this industry. Many lack that true star power. They don’t necessarily have the tact or knack for captivating the audience. Red Grant is clearly in another crowd. He’s got all that and more. If you haven’t already joined the movement, you’re sure to be on board very soon! Some things are simply inevitable. It’s now time for you to get Caught Red Handed!
Urban Grandstand: Many thanks to you for your time with this interview. You've been blessed to be one of the more well-known comedians out there today. What's been your secret, or formula to building a consistent fan base?
Red Grant: I am truly blessed! I think you have to stay relevant, stay connected with the people & stay real. This is an easy formula. Lol. It's not rocket science. You have to build healthy relationships with your fans and the people who support your movement. If you don't they will stop supporting your brand.
Urban Grandstand: Who inspired you to do this?
Red Grant: My Frat Brothers (Kappa Alpha Psi) and friends. When I lost my football scholarship because of my bad attitude, they suggested that I should tell jokes and I took their advice. I'm so glad I did because entertainment is the only job I do well. It’s perfect for me because I love entertaining.
Urban Grandstand: You clearly have that innate ability to make people laugh. Many claim the title as a comedian, but often can't walk the walk. Where in your mind has your success lied?
Red Grand: It’s true that I have an innate ability to make people laugh, but in my mind I don't think I'm successful yet. I feel like I'm close but I have a lot of work to do. When they say success comes with a price, it means that you're always working towards that goal. The work is not easy, but I will continue to walk the walk, talk the talk, and be a real comedian.
Urban Grandstand: Many are used to seeing you with Katt Williams, Luenell, and others on tours. How did you two connect, and ultimately do American Hustle?
Red Grant: They say timing is everything, And God's timing is even better than that timing. So I was at the right place at the right time and I was prepared for the mission when Katt approached me about going on his tour and doing his movie American Hustle. Luenell and I have been friends for over 12 years. It seems like God has already set our lives to be around each other. They are both my good friends and that's very rare in the comedy business.
Urban Grandstand: In what way has he influenced your career?
Red Grant: I think if I hadn't hooked up with Katt Williams I wouldn't be where I'm at right now because he showed me how to be a comedy rockstar, turning me on to millions of fans. And he showed me that's it's alright to help others. That's all Katt Williams does is help people and he never looks for accolades. That's why his fan base is so strong because he is real with them and good to them.
Urban Grandstand: Talk to me about your Showtime special.
It's a pretty big move when you've got your own special of that nature.
Red Grant: It is big news when you have a special. I happened to be the only comedian with three Showtime specials on Right now. My first one is called "Simply Red" which is a half hour special. My second special is called "caught red handed", which is an hour special through Laff Mobb. They just released the new Shaquille O'Neill all star from Atlanta where I headline the show. I have given up so much material in the last two years most comedians will go crazy but I just keep on creating new material for the fans. I keep getting better!
Urban Grandstand: Thinking back to when you got started, what did you envision for yourself as a comic?
Red Grant: I really don't know what I envisioned because I didn’t take it serious at first. I was only 19 when I started and I was on TV before I was 20. Now that I have been in the game for over 15 years I now know my vision for the comedy game. And that's to show the world Red Grant. I'm different and special.
Urban Grandstand: Do you feel like it's hard to gain respect, or be respected as a true comic? How hard was it to gain that very respect from such power players as Martin Lawrence, Shaquille O’Neal, and hip hop stars alike?
Red Grant: I will be lying if I told you it wasn't hard, but respect is earned and I go hard with the turnup lifestyle. That's my lane and all of them respect it. Martin Lawrence is from my city Washington DC and he got to respect it. I've been knowing Shaquille O'Neal since he first got into the league. He told me last year that I was almost ready and he told me this year that I was ready. That's very big coming from the big man. I look at it like God is talking through them both.
Urban Grandstand: The idea, from the outside looking in, is that you, or anyone, would want to get as big as possible in this career. Obviously it's possible when you look at the Kevin Harts, Dave Chappelles, Katt Williams', and so on. What's your thought on that level of notoriety and the stress that accompanies it?
Red Grant: Well I look at it like this: if you can't stand the heat get out the kitchen. It’s a lot of responsibility to be a superstar because criticism comes with the game. And everybody is a critic. And people turn on you so easily. It’s no loyalty in the game. I'm proud of all those guys and how they handle all the haters who come at them everyday. That's the level I'm trying to get at one day. And I'm getting close. Real talk!
Urban Grandstand: So looking at all that you've achieved, what is your goal as a comic as you continue?
Red Grant: My goal is to be Red Grant! If you ever see my show you understand what I'm talking about. It's not many people who can match my energy! My goal is to expose everyone to my brand of comedy.
Urban Grandstand: Are there any plans for movie roles, television shows, etc?
Red Grant: I have two movies in the work right now. They are developing a new sitcom for me right now Created by Red Grant.
Urban Grandstand: Aside from your current tour with Katt Williams, what else do you have going on?
Red Grant: I'm also touring with Shaquille O'Neal All-Stars, my own Tour called ‘Let Me Live’, and I’m always working on my behind the scene projects writing & producing for different networks. Currently I'm a brand ambassador for The @OrdizzleRedGrantCollection. We create new hats and glasses for a new wave community. It has taken off like crazy! I'm also a brand ambassador for Grindstone Universal Clothing and we are pushing our new brand TurnUp-AList hats.
Urban Grandstand: You're a great example to anyone that hard work will pay off in your career. What advice would you give to an up and coming comic?
Red Grant: Just work hard and be who are around your friends. Practice every day. And be original.
Urban Grandstand: It's been almost 20 years for you. Any regrets at all? Take backs? Do-overs?
Red Grandstand: I regret some of the movies I did in the past. Some of them I just did for money, but I've learned a lot from those lessons.
Urban Grandstand: Where are you in five years, in terms of goals and expectations?
Red Grant: Five years from now I will be retired Frank Comedy with the tiki bar on the island of Negril, Jamaica. I will come into the states five times a year Just to do publicity and movies. Turn up!
Urban Grandstand: Any final words?
Red Grant: Make sure you going to my website www.redgrant.com, and be a part of my movement. Follow and Like my Facebook page www.facebook.com/Redgrantlaughs, my Twitter page @RedGrantlaughs, and my Instagram page @RedGrant. Go support my apparel and become a part of Red Grant history. I want to thank you guys for this interview. Turn up!