THAT'S HOW HE DOOZ IT! One-on-One with Comedian JB Smoove

THAT'S HOW HE DOOZ IT! One-on-One with Comedian JB Smoove

The dancer-turned-comic keeps us waiting for the next laugh

by Sergio Mims, April 02, 2012

THAT'S HOW HE DOOZ IT! One-on-One with Comedian JB Smoove

shaking it. One of those things where the first episode would be Leon telling Larry thanks for everything and going out on his own and seeing what happens to him. That’s a show I would love to do one day for HBO. That would be fun to do.

EBONY: I’ve heard that doing standup is like the most terrifying and dangerous things that anyone can do. Like facing the lions in the arena.

SMOOVE: I always tell young comedians if you walk up on that stage and grab that microphone, you’re halfway there. All have to do is channel yourself and talk about what you know about, so that when you walk off stage you’re always in character. If you want to go on stage and talk politics, do a funny spin on politics, then know what you’re talking about. And I think what it is about stand-up, is that immediate reaction that you get from audience. That’s the bug. That’s what gets people. But it has its ups and downs, it’s hard, but for those who do it well and love to do it, it’s amazing! But stand up is its own animal, man. It’s an amazing gift to have the gift of gab. To grab people and hold them just long enough to do what you’re doing. I love it!

EBONY: Do you find that every audience has its own collective, distinct personality and you have to mold and shape your act to fit with that audience?

SMOOVE: Yeah, every audience is different. I consider every show is different. You can come and see me three times, you’ll never see the same show. I believe in performing for that particular audience. I don’t believe in being a robot on stage just repeating the same thing over and over again. I like to get up there and make myself laugh, to be in the moment. I want to be able to react to it. If someone spills a drink I want to be able to react to it. If the lights go out in the club I want to be able to react to it. I want to be able to react to anything and everything because that is our moment.   

When you’re on stage performing stand-up things only happen one time. I’ve done bits where I improv a joke and people are dying. The next show I try to repeat it, I can’t do it. Because with the first audience that was our moment. It can’t happen the same way again. We were all there, a certain type of people were at that show and we all got it. The next night it will a totally different joke with a totally different audience.

EBONY: Dumb question, but would you say that leaving dancing to do comedy is the best move you’ve ever made?

SMOOVE: (laughs) You know what, man? You can never ever abandon your dancing roots. I’m sure that at some point in my career someone is going to call me from 'Dancing With the Stars.' I still go out and party and dance man. That will never go away. I love to party. I love to dance. I love to have a good time. I’m the party starter. I’m going to have to show that side of me one day.

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