The fast pace of Memphis, Tennessee and Los Angeles, California represent two different lifestyles but for comedian Rob Love – he has figured out how to use both cities to his advantage.
One of the most important things an upcoming comedian can do for themselves is being remembered when they exit the stage. By mixing perspectives from two different places, Love makes sure that he stands out from the rest when he performs. In a talk with Comedy Hype, the Memphis native details his path into comedy, from basketball all the way up to until now. By being someone who has already worked with the likes of Donnell Rawlings, All Def, DL Hughley, Melanie Camacho and others; it’s only a matter of time for Love’s biggest break.
“I look at it like a golf game… It’s me verse the audience…. the audience is the course”
Your roots are in Tennessee but now you frequent Los Angeles. Why did you decide to venture to Los Angeles?
My goal is to be a world known comedian, I love home, I love Memphis… I aspire to have different spots in different cities. LA was just the next move…because they have more opportunity…more looks and more eyes. It was just smart to go to Los Angeles, career wise. The differences of the West coast and the South helps me stand out. I take something from the South, take it to the West, and I take something from the West and take it to the South.
How do you balance brotherhood and competitiveness in comedy?
My mindset was different when I came into the comedy game. As a former athlete, a basketball player, I’m cool with being on a show with other funny people. I can host and make sure my other guys do a great job. It’s a team effort. But I still look at it like a golf game… It’s me verse the audience…. the audience is the course…it’s not me versus another comic.
Comics have to work on their game and present it in a way for the crowd to receive it, for them to remember their name.
I don’t really see the beef, I respect it, and I understand it. …the media can shift things and take things out of context. I’m prepared to not give into it. If you have people knocking you then that means you are doing something right.
Southern Comedians vs. West Comedians, what’s the difference?
From my personal point of view, the West seems to be more structured, it seems to be more TV ready and pilot ready.
In the South, we more freestyle and use what is in front of us as comedic material… I might talk about the room.
Is there a vision to return to Memphis after your comedy success?
I got a couple things in the works that’s why I’m staying rooted in the city, I’m not trying to go away and ‘make it’ but it is important to branch out.
When did you pivot from basketball to comedy?
Basketball is my first love. I started in the 4th grade and it was something that gave me the opportunity as an outlet for my creative juices. As I got older, I played college basketball, after college, I tried different leagues and didn’t make it. I felt good, at least I tried.
My brother ‘EP Memphis’ was doing some things around the city and I jumped in and tried comedy. . It wasn’t as easy as I thought but the challenge sparked my creative juices, made me work, I was on the mic five to seven days a week — and have been doing so for eight years now.
What has LA taught you, that you think no other city could have?
LA has taught me to be sharp and be ready. Much love to Memphis for shaping and training me but you just have to be ready. Don’t come with an idea, come with “This Is what I got.” Personally, don’t stand on what other people are talking about – your lane is your lane. If you come in [LA] with your mind strong and your game strong, I think you will get the results you’re looking for.
Who have you worked with?
I had the chance to shoot the ‘Roast Me’ battle with All Def. Shout out to Patrick Cloud, Comedian CP and the SquADD. That was a good behind the scenes look of how I want to do things, (that opportunity should be seen on season four).
I’ve worked with a lot of people before I got to LA. I’ve worked with Donnell Rawlings, D.L. Hughley, Red Grant, Tyler Craig, Melanie Camacho; my resume was pretty much stout before I even came to LA. I have to shout out Memphis, Funnyman Prescott, and the greats who have helped me along the way.
Are you enjoying the journey now — working towards becoming a household name, from the late-night gigs and grind of comedy?
It’s been super blessed. To see the commitment, the things I put on my vision board to come to be, it’s surreal sometimes. I’ll watch someone on TV, the next thing is I’m working with them. It’s just mind-blowing, God gets the glory, my sacrifice, my family, there’s a lot of people to be thankful for. I remember K Dubb, he grew up in Memphis, expanded out to Atlanta and works with T.I. I remember him telling a couple young comics, “Keep your head down and just keep grinding –and you’ll look up and you’re in a different place.”
You do character work outside of stand-up comedy — like the Shower Cap Guy. Where did that character come from and how much character work is in your stand-up?
The character work in my stand-up is based on my family and personal experiences. It’s not much in my stand-in. The Shower Cap Guy character – I would watch the news back in the day and the black people interviewed and it always would be someone with a shower cap, Jheri curl [Laughs] and a cigarette. Like, why did they interview this dude? Shower Cap Guy is me turning on the media a little bit. I got a couple other guys [characters], Bobby Lee, a master motivator.
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“I really stay centered on positive energy, putting love out to the universe and trusting I’m going to get it back”
What has been your biggest comedy moment thus far?
When I first started out, DL Hughley came through Memphis, he was following me on Twitter and gave me the opportunity to perform with him. He started mentoring me along the way. That’s one of the big things in the record books for me. A King Of Comedy as a mentor — that’s like mind-blowing!
Is there someone that you study?
I respect Kevin Hart to the fullest…he’s bringing laughs, he’s taking his boys with him and has created a brand. My brand is love and laughs. It’s a blend, not just about making people laugh it’s about love. I studied the greats. Shaq would go out and when he interacted with people it was love surrounding him. It’s about a presence and energy. Everything is love and laughs with me. That’s what we are all about…all this divisiveness that’s been created is all under the water when you get into a comedy club and watch people laugh. My focus is love and laugh and I’m going to give it to the world.
“I want to attack everything with love.”
Rob’s next moves are set for December 6 in LA with Donnell Rawlings, a line-up of shows scheduled for 7th, 8th, 18th, 30th of December in Memphis and Atlanta, an upcoming film in 2019, season four of ‘Roast Me’ for All Def, and booking for 2019.
Rob Love may be a new name but after eight years on this comedy journey, you can tell that he has a deliberate plan to grow and maintain his career. The south has produced some of our most impactful comedians, and Rob Love is cracking the humor code – influencing each cardinal direction with love and laughter.