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Bringing the Funny

[Bringing the Funny] Roy Wood Jr.: An Urban Grandstand Digital Exclusive

[Bringing the Funny] Roy Wood Jr.: An Urban Grandstand Digital Exclusive

There’s so much going on in the city as we lead up to the weekend! Of course, the Cleveland Cavaliers are having their opening game tonight, but in the midst of all the madness and excitement, there’s another major showing going on! Comedian Roy Wood Jr. has made his way into the city, and is performing the entire weekend at the Cleveland Improv! Naturally, we had to catch up with him before his first show to get the rundown on everything he’s got going on, and just what he’s got planned for his weekend run. He also throws in a few words & updates on the hit TBS sitcom Sullivan & Son, which recently wrapped up its third season. You’re definitely in for a few laughs with this exclusive. And if you’re in the city, you definitely don’t want to miss out on the show! You can purchase tickets at www.clevelandimprov.com

 

 

Urban Grandstand Digital: I really appreciate your time this evening before your show.

 

Roy Wood Jr.: No man, I appreciate you reaching out to make a little magic. It’s a symbiotic relationship, we both benefit…

 

Urban Grandstand Digital: It’s definitely good to talk, with you being here in the city this weekend. Have you been downtown in all the madness going on for the Cavs opener?

 

Roy Wood Jr.: I just left that chaos! Good lord! Y’all don’t play around here.

 

Urban Grandstand Digital: I was just down there myself

 

Roy Wood Jr.: We were over in front of the House of Blues. Everybody’s out there and it’s all love and excitement.

 

Urban Grandstand Digital: So you’re at the Improv tonight….

 

Roy Wood Jr.: Yea man, you know what, I’m here all weekend. I’m at the Improv through Sunday! Tickets sales are good tonight, considering I’m up against some dude named Lebron (laughing). I never heard of this gentleman, but you know….

 

Urban Grandstand Digital: The tickets are definitely selling good, but then you do a good job with your shows when you’re here, so it makes sense.

 

Roy Wood Jr.: You know, all I’ve ever tried to do with my comedy is drop in a little truth here and there, and hopefully those that appreciate it will come out to see it. So far so good! I’ve been able to build a quick 16-year career off this.

 

Urban Grandstand Digital: I love the fact that aside from your career in comedy, you have a degree in Journalism. Do you have thoughts of moving back to that?

 

Roy Wood Jr.: I don’t feel like I’ve ever really left it. I feel like I’ve always been dabbling in it to some degree. I did morning radio for over a decade, and I still dabble in afternoons in Atlanta. That’s been a great foundation for writing and how to present my thoughts, and also how to analyze the world. Now that I’m foraying into a little bit more of the sports world, and doing things for Yahoo! Sports Radio and ESPN, there’s still a journalistic element to the presentation of the information, even if it’s funny there’s a certain way to tell the story and shape the script, so in that regard I still consider myself a Journalist. They don’t teach you the fundamentals to comedy in Journalism school, but I definitely feel like to some degree, I’ve learned a lot about how to properly present stuff. As a comedian, all you’re doing is reporting on the world, or reporting on your life.  It’s no different.

 

Urban Grandstand Digital: I can appreciate the fact that you ventured over to Yahoo! Sports. How did that come about?

 

Roy Wood Jr.: You know what happened man, it’s basically a situation where I play in this cover 5 league. It’s like a football pick. It’s not really fantasy football, it’s not fair to compare the two, but there’s a radio show, Steve Czaban Morning Show over on Yahoo! Sports Radio. They do some things with cover 5 as well. I was doing a cover 5 league for the Sullivan & Son television show that I’m on TBS. So I connected with the guy who runs cover 5, and he asked since I was doing it for the sitcom, if I wanted to call in on the radio show to promote it. Of course, I said hell yeah. I called in once or twice and we hit it off so we then figured out an idea for a segment for me. I do it every week, and it’s called ‘Guaranteed Ass Whoopins of the Week. It’s literally just the most asinine possible scenario you could think of for a game. That’s pretty much all it is. It’s fun and it’s just something I enjoy doing. I love talking sports and just shooting the breeze, and I do a video for it as well. That’s the really cool part of it.

 

Urban Grandstand Digital: I just love the fact that you dabble in some of everything and do a number of things. I think it’s awesome.

 

Roy Wood Jr.: I appreciate it man. I just feel like there’s no one recipe anymore. I learned back in ’06. I got blessed with an opportunity to do David Letterman. Up until that point, we [comedians] were always sold the dream that all you had to do was make it to Letterman, or Leno, and then you get a career and everything is great after that. I did Letterman and it was a blessing, but I still stayed with my momma for almost another year. There’s nothing overnight about any of this. Even the guys doing Letterman and getting mileage out of their appearances, it was just a much different landscape. People’s attention is divided, so my focus should be divided. That’s the only way I’m going to have a chance at reaching everybody.

 

Urban Grandstand Digital: You’re a perfect example though, of working hard and achieving your dreams and goals.

 

Roy Wood Jr.: That’s it. You just bust your ass and figure out a way to survive in the meantime. If you have the ability to endure you’ll outlast anyone else in your industry. Most people aren’t really in it for that long haul. They claim they are.

 

Urban Grandstand Digital: Sullivan & Son is hugely popular man. Obviously, it’s in the third season, so everyone’s doing something right. What do you think it was that made it stand the test of time?

 

Roy Wood Jr.: I think what gave us a little bit of mileage with that was the honesty, and writing. The writing reflects real life and real conversation. I think that’s been the main thing a lot of people connect with in terms of our fans. If you look at our show in comparison to a lot of other shows, it’s definitely more of a traditional feel and a throwback in a sense to the sitcoms of yesteryear, you know…of the 80s and 90s, that had a totally different vibe to them. I believe our show fills a void while updating the dialogue and the situations to reflect present day America. I think that’s something any and everybody can relate to. There’s more minorities on the show than there are white people on the cast; and you know, let the census tell it that’s the way America is going too (laughing). Lots of things going on, that ultimately will help us stay at that forefront.

 

Urban Grandstand: So what direction do you see the show going in? Obviously, it’s at an all-time high in terms of popularity. What direction do you see it going?

 

Roy Wood Jr.: I think it will definitely hash out more of the love storyline between Steve Byrne and Valerie Azlynn. They’ve added a love interest now, after three seasons. We’re still waiting to see if we’re going to get a fourth season. We finished our third season at the top of September, and I think the numbers will support a fourth season, but the bureaucracy and negotiations of that is stuff that I’m not privy to, so who knows how that works. But the ratings and fan support suggest we would get another season. I don’t see why we wouldn’t.

 

Urban Grandstand Digital: Well like I said in the beginning man, I greatly appreciate you for your time today. Do you have anything big planned for your shows this weekend?

 

Roy Wood Jr.: Man, I just want Cleveland to come out and laugh. This is one of my favorite cities to perform in. Top two or three for sure. I’ve always had a blast here and it’s always been a good time. I don’t expect it to be anything different. I’m anxious to get on stage and see how everyone is doing and get the jokes flowing.

 

Urban Grandstand Digital: I’m usually there on Friday nights, which is usually the toughest night in terms of crowd and audience, but as long as the comedian on is cool, there’s usually no problem. I’m looking forward to seeing the show.

 

Roy Wood Jr.: That’ll be dope! I’ll see you when you get down there…

[BRINGING THE FUNNY] KOUNTRY WAYNE: RISE OF A KING

[BRINGING THE FUNNY] KOUNTRY WAYNE: RISE OF A KING

Here at Urban Grandstand Digital, we’ve made it a point to connect with many of the comedians who roll through the Cleveland city limits to perform at the Cleveland Improv. This week, comedian Kountry Wayne will make his way into the city with his hilarious routine. He’s made quite the name for himself through many of the videos he has posted throughout Facebook and YouTube, and his fan base has grown tremendously because of them. It’s all pretty remarkable, considering most comedians are super active on the digital front. We had the opportunity to chat with him about his upcoming show, what we can expect, and what his future looks like.

 

Check out our exclusive HERE!

[BRINGING THE FUNNY] LUENELL: THE COMEDIC GODDESS

[BRINGING THE FUNNY] LUENELL: THE COMEDIC GODDESS

It’s always great when Comedienne and Actress Luenell rolls into Cleveland. Currently, she’s here in town, performing at the Cleveland Improv. Regardless of how frequent we see her (she’s definitely here a lot), she always manages to give us something totally new, and in all, her performance is beyond amazing. Luenell has a way of capturing the audience’s attention commanding the stage like no other. What we’re most grateful about in it all is whenever she stops here in town, she’s always willing to sit down and break bread with us about her show, and all the other amazing things she has going on in her life and career. Today was much like any other when talking to Luenell. She has you laughing right out the gate, and it’s just an all around good conversation with someone you ultimately realize is just like you. She’s doing what she needs to do to move forward in this world, and having a little fun in the midst of it all. 

Check out our conversation HERE with the comedic goddess we all know as Luenell!

[BRINGING THE FUNNY] LUENELL: THE UGD EXCLUSIVE

[BRINGING THE FUNNY] LUENELL: THE UGD EXCLUSIVE

Comedienne Luenell has literally become a household name in comedy in just a few short years. Of course, she not new to comedy. Getting her start more than 20 years ago, she's been working hard, appearing in a number of films, television shows, and comedy specials throughout the years. It wasn't until appearing in Katt Williams' American Hustle that many began to take notice. 

Luenell offers a brand of comedy that is unmatched with any other comic. She has become one with her audience, and they love her for her brute honesty. If you've seen Ny of her performances, it's clear that she's always top notch and gives a stellar performance. 

Luenell's is here in Cleveland this week, and it's turned out to be a big gift to the fans, bigger than usual! Beginning a string of 7 shows at the Cleveland Improv tonight, it's also her birthday! What an honor it is to know that she's spending her birthday in Cleveland with us! For us at Urban Grandstand Digital, it gets even bigger. We were blessed to be granted an interview with Luenell while she's here, and the experience and opportunity was far beyond measure. We talked about everything going on in her booking career down to what she had planned for her shows. Take a moment to check out the Q&A below. And if you're here in the city, check her out this weekend at the Cleveland Improv!

 

Check out the exclusive HERE!

[BRINGING THE FUNNY] COCOA BROWN: MORE THAN FUNNY

[BRINGING THE FUNNY] COCOA BROWN: MORE THAN FUNNY

No stranger to entertainment, Cocoa Brown has been working for some time now, building her brand of entertainment and comedy. We’ve seen her in a variety of television shows and films. Most will immediately remember her from Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse, but she’s done so much more in her time. At this point in her career, he goal has shift a bit. She’s focused now on proving to the world that she can master the dramatic role. Trust that she’s still doing her thing to make you laugh through her journey. Matter of fact, she’s here in Cleveland this weekend at The Improv, and I’ve already heard from a number of people that the show is off the hook. 

 

Cocoa takes a few moments in betweens hows to talk with us here at UG Digital about her journey into the world of comedy, her new role in American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J., her new fashion line, and so much more. It’s time for you to see just why Cocoa is indeed More than Funny!

 

[ON the SCREEN] Red Grant: Caught Red Handed

[ON the SCREEN] Red Grant: Caught Red Handed

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!