There aren’t many comedians who can bring you to tears like Earthquake. His straightforward comedy style has propelled him into sold out shows, movies, and various television shows. His television presence continues to grow after appearing on CBS’s new hit comedy show “The Neighborhood” starring Cedric the Entertainer. The comedian spoke to the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper about his episode, the art of comedy, and why comedians are underrated.
LOS ANGELES SENTINEL NEWSPAPER: Talk to us about how you met Cedric The Entertainer?
EARTHQUAKE: He’s a dear friend of mine. Ced and me have been best friends for about 20 years. I used to own a comedy club back early in his career. We did numerous shows back in the day when he hosted “Comic View.”
LAS: What is your episode about in “The Neighborhood”?
EARTHQUAKE: It all happens at a barbershop. It’s about us trying to introduce Max, the White neighbor of Calvin, about the importance of the barbershop and how it impacts Black culture. I’m the owner of the barbershop.
LAS: There seems to be a lot of comedians appearing online who don’t pursue stand-up. What’s your opinion on them?
EARTHQUAKE: Social media gave a platform for you to talk to the audience on a grandeur scale, but it hasn’t developed more comedians. If anything, it has killed the process of what it makes or defines to be a comedian. The process is standing on stage and getting immediate gratification or immediate disappointment. When you are an internet comedian you lose that because you have no one to tell you that its not funny like the immediate reaction from a boo. You don’t get the timing online.
LAS: I asked that question because it seems that being a comedian is underrated. Would you agree with that statement?
EARTHQUAKE: I might sound biased, but to be quite honest we are the most underrated and underappreciated, but most respected art form there is.
I say this to all my friends who happen to be rappers, singers, or whatever. I envy that they can sing the same song over and over again and sit back. When you are a comedian the objective of the job is different.
LAS: Never thought about that. Can you explain more?
EARTHQUAKE: We have to be able to make our constituents do something that they can’t even make themselves do and that’s laugh. Not only that, but you need a person’s undivided attention to make them laugh. When you listen to music, you can be doing anything and still enjoy it. But comedians, we have to constantly create new material. No one wants to hear the same jokes. We are up their on the wire, by ourselves, with no net all day long for a whole hour. Do you know how long a minute feels like on stage?
LAS: I don’t but I’m sure it’s terrifying. Speaking of that, what’s something about the comedian process most people don’t know about?
EARTHQUAKE: The jokes you had last night has nothing to do with what you do today. The timing may have worked, but now you have a different crowd. That’s why we laugh at other art forms. You have never seen someone from a different career field, come over to comedy and dominate the stand up game. However, you’ve seen comedians go on to be great actors, singers, or dancers. Before you label yourself as a comedian, you have to do the job. Just because you play pickup basketball, doesn’t make you an NBA star.
The episode “Welcome To The Barbershop” appeared Monday Nov. 12th on CBS. To find more information on “The Neighborhood,” please check local listings.