If you’re not familiar with the term, “Polymath”, you’re about to be. Deon Cole is the epitome of the term, Polymath; someone who has a wide range of knowledge in multiple subjects. Deon Cole is a standup comedy veteran and an actor whom you know from the shows such as, “Black-ish” and “Angie Tribeca”. Deon has also written for the comedy genius, Conan O’brien and has been featured on the show several times. Today, Deon Cole will release his brand new comedy special on Netflix for ‘The Standups’ series. Comedy Hype caught up with Deon to chat about it.
BY COREY TATE
CH: On Tuesday, July 4th, Netflix is set to premiere 6 new stand up specials, in a series titled, “The Standups”. You’re one of the six specials premiering. What can we expect from your special?
DC: You can expect a different perspective. Every comedian has a unique viewpoint and I’m just presenting what my viewpoint is. For those who are already familiar with my work, they know what to expect. For those who aren’t familiar, this special gives them a chance to get familiar. All-all-in, it’s a win-win and I’m excited for people to see the new special.
CH: Your material is so authentic, to the point where no one can duplicate it. How do you tend to generate material? What makes Deon Cole say, “That’d be a good bit” or “That’s a fresh premise”?
DC: Well, I really love observational humor and life is full of opportunities to observe. In every situation that I’m in, I’m always generating material in my head. Some of the material I’ll keep and craft into a bit and some of it gets discarded. I just pick what fits my mold. Essentially, I just observe what’s happening around me and generate material from those things. Real life provides all the material you’ll ever need.
CH: Your career was birthed in your hometown of Chicago. Everyone in Chicago knew who you were, before the rest of the world knew. Now, you’ve gotten more exposure due to your role on the ABC show, “Black-ish”, the TBS show, “Angie Tribeca” and your appearances on “Conan”. How does it feel to finally be getting national exposure?
DC: It’s been really exciting to have my career escalate to new levels. I’m reaching new audiences, acquiring new fans and it’s just been a blessing. I have to give some of the credit to the projects that I’ve been a part of, because they’ve helped me reach different levels. A lot of people didn’t even know I was a standup comic, until they saw me in roles like “Black-ish” and did more research on my career. So, I’m happy people know me now and I just want to continue to build on the exposure.
CH: At one point in your career, you were a writer on “Conan”. You’ve also done standup on the show and even toured with Conan. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from working with Conan O’brien?
DC: Wow, it’s hard to narrow it down to one thing. I think a more appropriate question is, what haven’t I learned from working with Conan O’brien? [laughs]. Conan O’brien is by far, one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. One important thing that Conan taught me, is that every moment won’t be a magical moment. And you shouldn’t beat yourself when you have those tough moments. If you kill every night, you’ll want to kill even harder and sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. But you will have those magical moments and they’ll feel amazing, because you’ve had tough moments.
CH: You’re part of the ABC show “Black-ish”, a show that’s been doing so well, that there’s a spinoff in the works titled, “College-ish”. You’ll also be part of the “College-ish” spinoff cast. When you took the role on “Black-ish”, did you foresee the show having such a massive success?
I knew the show was something special, because there was nothing like it on TV and the cast consisted of amazing people. So, I knew that the show had potential to thrive. However, you can never really gauge what kind of success a project will have. You just do the best that you can do, set it free and let the people decide. It’s been amazing to have influential people, like The Obamas, embrace us by saying it’s their favorite show. I’m very excited to continue being part of the “Black-ish” cast and also be a part of the spinoff, “College-ish”. And special thanks to the creator of both series, Kenya Barris, for taking a chance on me. I’m happy it’s all working out.
CH: Your new special premieres Tuesday, July 4th on Netflix. That’s very exciting. What other exciting things should Deon Cole fans be looking out for?
DC: We begin shooting the “Black-ish” spinoff, “College-ish”, in September. I’m also on the TBS show “Angie Tribeca” created by Steve Carrell and Nancy Carrell. I’m also hosting a fun new game show for BET, called “Face Value”. There’s lot of fun things in the works that i’m excited about.
You can catch Deon Cole’s brand new comedy special on Netflix’s The Standups, now streaming.
BY COREY TATE