Curly Comedy sits down with two performing stereotypes to interview them on their technique.
On Black Audiences
Dirty Comic: I love black rooms. I've been on BET's Comic View several times. Because I'm white, they always look at me like, "What's this chump doing here?" And then I cue the DJ to play some Gerald Levert while I hump the stool. I do my bit called B****es Ain't Sh** which ends with a back flip, and then I start break dancin' (gets up to pop and lock), and they're like, "Aww sh**! This is the hotness!" (sits down). I got a standing ovation at Showtime at the Apollo. You have to be sympathetic to the race and meet them at their level.
Christian Comic: I perform for a lot of all-black churches. If there's one thing that unites audiences of all races it's God's love. And cable knit sweaters.
Dirty Comic: Leather. Always. It says Early Chris Rock, it's an homage to the Dice Man, and the crowd subconsciously thinks you're tough (if you haven't shadow boxed your way onto the stage already). Also a clean pair of drawers in case you get lucky later.
Christian Comic: I find a neatly pressed button-down shirt says, "I'm not threatening, and I'm an upstanding citizen." It's important to let your audience know you're there to make them laugh and not to scare them. For taped specials I wear something a family member made me, and throw it over the shirt. It's a shout-out immortalized in VHS.
On Having Draw
Dirty Comic: When I get booked to a club I make 'em a deal. I say, "If I fill the house, I take the door, but I'll sell my merch' out back in the alley." This works pretty good except in the winter. Business slows down because fewer people want a jersey that says, "I Wash My Balls". I gotta remember to invest in baseball shirts.
Christian Comic: Well, I always offer my services free to a church, but they take up a collection for me and never let me go home empty-handed because God is good. At middle schools, we usually agree to a set fee, and I get a free hot lunch. Some supplemental income comes from working as a motivational speaker at conventions in hotel ballrooms. Most of my draw is as a wedding singer.
On Drinking While Performing
Dirty Comic: I used to go on stage with a Hennesey and Coke and a cigarette, unless it was a young crowd, and then I'd just drink the beer on the table in front of me. But that was in the '80s. I gotta take care of my health now--doctor's orders--so it's strictly water on stage for me. And vodka after the show.
Christian Comic: I do a bit with Mr. Pickles here (holds up black cat puppet, says through teeth,"Your detter half,") Better half? Oh now, come on. He drinks a glass of water while I sing, and the audience just howls. (Through teeth, "I prefer nilk,") Yes, we all know you love milk, Mr. Pickles. ("Nilk and cookies") Now one more interruption like that, and I'm going to take you to get fixed! (puppets eyes get wide). Where was I? Oh yes, any other beverage on stage might spill on my guitar, so I abstain.