Closing out our series of interviews for ‘Guy Code Week’ on ComedyHype.Com, we talk with multimedia personality Charlamagne Tha God. For our discussion Charlamagne shares his thoughts on animated series Boondocks newest season, Chris Rock along with his favorite comedians, comedy, Guy Code, Drake, SNL, and projects.
CH: IN AN OLD TWEET YOU TWEETED, “I’M CONVINCED THAT LIFE IS ONE BIG COMEDY SPOOF AND SETH ROGEN AND THE WAYANS ARE DIRECTING.” IS LIFE ONE BIG COMEDY TO YOU?
CTG – Yeah, if you look at the way of the world, it’s certain things that used to be funny on television and movies that’s actually real life now. You can look at something as simple as a black president, which was something that you would see in movies all the time when the world was about to end. That’s something that you know various comedians have either made fun of on different sketches and various shows throughout the years. You can look at The Boondocks about six or seven years ago when they did the episode about “Gangstalicious” and Riley was wearing a dress and Gangstalicious was telling everybody it wasn’t a dress, that it was shorts with a cape in front of it. You look at rappers now and their wearing dresses. You know what I mean? You look at somebody like Young Thug. Young Thug walks around with dresses on, he wears finger nail polish, and he calls his homeboys bae and lover, but he’s a gangster. That’s a spoof! If that was in a Wayans Brothers movie and it was a rapper named Young Thug, he’s a hardcore rapper from Atlanta, but you see him wearing dresses and finger nail polish, that’s a spoof. So that’s what I meant when I said that.
CH: YOU’RE A FAN OF THE BOONDOCKS, WHAT’S YOUR FEELINGS SO FAR ON THE NEW SEASON?
CTG – Season 4 of The Boondocks is trash. Aaron McGruder is not a part of it. Carl Jones, one of their primary writers, is not a part of it. It just doesn’t have that same kick that it once had. Boondocks use to be a show that was full of socially redeeming value. They weren’t necessarily trying to be funny; their jokes just came from out of truth. It just doesn’t have it. The first couple of episodes of this season aren’t good. I love Uncle Ruckus, he’s forever funny to me but there not even about anything. What are they about? The Chris Brown episode was a cross between the Usher episode and the R. Kelly episode. I didn’t understand what the message was in the Chris Brown episode. I was like, “What the hell just happened?” The first few episodes that I’ve seen sucked without Aaron McGruder. They got to scrap it, man! What’s The Chappelle Show, without Dave Chappelle? What’s In Living Color without Keenen and Damon Wayans involved? Why do Boondocks without Aaron McGruder? It makes no sense.
CH: YOU’RE KNOWN FOR YOUR HONESTY. WHEN DID THIS START?
CTG – I never really thought about it. I think about it now when I’m doing interviews or when somebody may say that to me, or when I see articles people will write on me they’ll say that. It never was something that I consciously said to myself like, “This is how I’m going to be.” That’s just how I was raised. My father was that way, my uncles are that way, and my father’s cousins are that way. That’s all I saw growing up. I would see a bunch of people speaking freely to each other. That’s just how we grew up. We grew up cracking jokes on each other and talking about different things that was going on in each other’s lives and if I went too far we would fight and keep moving and still crack on each other, so I never thought about it. I do remember consciously watching television and listening to radio back in the day and asking myself when I would hear interviews or see people giving commentary like, “Why aren’t they asking the most obvious question? Why aren’t they stating the most obvious thing?” I use to always wonder about that. When I got into the game I realized it’s because they tell you that you shouldn’t have an opinion and that you shouldn’t say this about certain artists because if you’re a radio station and you talk about certain artists, at some point you may want them to come do shows and things of that nature. If you work for a music network you can’t be like, “Hey, that song is whack!” You may need that artist to perform at an award show or come be a guest. But maybe I’m just a glitch in the matrix. I don’t know…
CH: WHAT ARE YOUR FEARS?
CTG – I fear the same things that other human beings fear. I’m a God fearing person. I mean I don’t want to die, but I’m not necessarily afraid to die. That’s one thing that bothers me. Like i think about mortality, I think about my family, I don’t want anything to happen to my family. I think about something happening to my daughter or my mom- stuff like that gives me a sense of paranoia, but doesn’t it for everybody? You know what I’m saying? I would hope it does for everybody.
CH: WOULD YOU EVER VENTURE IN TO STAND UP?
CTG – The funny thing is people like Nicole Byer and John Gabrus, aren’t comedians. I’m not a comedian either. But hell no! I respect the stage too much. Not only do I respect the stage too much, I don’t want that expectation of being funny. Where I’m at in my career, people are trying to figure out what it is that I do and they try to structure it and say certain things. I’m not a comedian and I don’t want that expectation. Don’t put that on me. I’ve had various agencies try to meet with me, wanting me to do comedy tours and they’re like, “You can just go out and collect money. All you gotta do is be on stage for 5-10 minutes.” I’m not going to disrespect the craft like that. Why would I disrespect the craft like that? I wouldn’t want anybody to come do that in radio. So why would I go do that in comedy? Once you have that expectation of “Oh, he’s a comedian,” ain’t nobody going to find me funny no more. I just want to be able to speak freely. Let me get my POV and whatever reaction comes from my POV, that’s just the reaction you was meant to get.
CH: FAVORITE COMEDIAN?
CTG – My favorite comedian of all time is absolutely Chris Rock. To me, it’s not even like Chris Rock is telling jokes, he’s telling truth. I love the fact that he has socially redeeming value in his comedy. He’s my favorite of all time… hands down. But I love all my guys (from Guy Code). I know I may seem bias, but it’s the truth. I think that our team has the best new, fresh, and young comics out there. Whether it’s Lil’ Duval, Andrew Schulz, Chris Distefano, Pete Davidson, Carly Aqulino, or Nicole Byer, those are the people that genuinely make me laugh now. Like John Gabrus, I don’t care if I’m watching Louis CK or Bill Burr, all of those guys are funny but i don’t think that they are as funny as my guys.
CH: THOUGHTS ON DRAKE’S SNL PERFORMANCE?
CTG – I thought he did good. He did great! You can tell he had the acting background. For me, that’s not comedy. That something I would do. It’s not comedy. They just put him in situations and wrote great stuff for him and he executed it. He’s got natural acting chops. It was good. He did very well.
CH: DRAKE THE RAPPER?
CTG – Drake is a very dope rapper, I just hate when he sings. I hate when he sings! It’s depressing as hell. The funny thing is, people give me slack for saying stuff like that, but I feel the same way about that new John Legend song. John Legend’s “All of Me” song is exactly how I feel when I hear Drake sing. That shit is depressing! I don’t want to hear that shit. Why are you so depressed? You’re married to Christine Teigen. You’re rich! I don’t want to hear that. Knock it off. I don’t like depressing stuff.
CH: SNL SPOOFING YOU AND DUVAL… WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS? AND HOW DID YOU FIND OUT?
CTG – I was in a club somewhere in the Jersey Shore. You know how you look down at your Twitter feed every now and then and you see your Twitter feed blowing up? Then I just saw people asking, “Did Charlamagne and Duval just get spoofed on SNL?” I just saw that repeatedly. I’m like, “What the hell just happened?” So I asked what happened and people told me. Then I saw it for myself the next day. I loved it! I take it whether it was a sort of a look or a huge look. A win is a win! Just the fact that they even mentioned MTV2… Put it like this, if they didn’t say MTV2, I don’t think anybody would have looked and said, “Oh they spoofing Lil’ Duval and Charlamagne!”
CH: BEST JAY Z IMPRESSIONIST OUT OF ARIE SPEARS, AFFION CROCKETT, AND JAY PHAROH?
CTG – Out of those 3… Affion. You know who got a dope Jay impression? Dean Edwards, he has a very slept on Jay impression.
CH: YOUR PODCAST WITH ANDREW SCHULZ?
CTG – I never wanted to label it a comedy podcast. It’s called the Brilliant Idiots and it’s with me and my guy Andrew Schulz. When you listen to that podcast, all you hear is regular everyday commentary that we have when we’re around each other. Whether it’s when we’re in the car, in between filming Guy Code or Girl Code- whatever it is, that’s just how we talk. So we were like, “Let’s turn it into a podcast,” Schulz wanted to start getting his POV out there from a different perspective. You’ll see him on stage cracking jokes or you’ll see him on various shows, but you never really hear his POV on regular everyday stuff that’s going on in the world, so we did it. If you listen to it, we’re really not telling jokes- just stuff going on in the world in a comedic way… In our brilliant idiot type of way.
CH: HOW DID YOU BEING A CAST MEMBER OF GUY CODE COME ABOUT?
CTG – Me and Lil’ Duval, we started doing The Hood State of the Union online. The reason we started doing it is because we both always been Internet savvy. So we were like,”Let’s get together and create something online,” because I was doing these sketches online and he was doing sketches online. Initially we didn’t know what he wanted to do. He flew to New York, we sat in front of a green screen, and we just started riffing on whatever was going on at the time for the week. And my guy Scenario, he put it together, and it just popped off online. Then my home girl, Tiffany Williams at MTV, she got a hold of it. She saw it online and she took it to the powers that be at MTV and they put us on a show called Hating, a show that Nick Cannon did. I think it might have aired one time back in 2009 or 2010. Then when I started doing radio again here in New York around 2011, Paul Richie approached me about being on MTV2. I was like, “Why would they want to give me a TV deal?” And I just did it. I’m an energy person- I go off of energy. I either feel it or I don’t. I guess they saw something that I didn’t see and that’s why I’m open to a lot of different things in life, because sometimes people see you as more than you see yourself. When they presented it to me, I signed and Guy Code was the first project that was out the gate.
CH: WHAT GUY CODE VIOLATION DO YOU SEE VIOLATED THE MOST?
CTG – Guys dressing like girls is a big Guy Code violation, unless of course you’re a cross dresser. If you’re a cross dresser and that’s your thing, do your thing. But if you dressing like a female and then claim to be so manly, you got to knock it off. Especially with the dresses, there’s no reason for a man to be wearing a dress. That’s just crazy.
CH: WHERE DO YOU SEE FOR YOURSELF IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
CTG – I got my website, Cthagodworld.com. We’re going to hopefully keep it pushing with Charlamagne and Friends. We’ll see where that goes. The podcast Brilliant Idiots and The Breakfast Club, we’re still continuing to grow in a lot of different markets as far as syndication is concerned. I’m jumping into film. I had two seconds in Ride Along. I actually flew to LA and jumped in a movie that DJ Pooh is doing. Pooh, you know created Friday, 3 Strikes, and Car Wash. Pooh is doing a movie starring Lil’ Duval and DeRay Davis. I got a nice little part in that. Definitely more film work, more TV, more radio. I just keeping working. I don’t like to call it work. They say that if you enjoy what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. I’m just having a whole lot of fun out here.
CH: YEAH WE DID CATCH PICTURES OF YOU WORKING ON THE FILM. IT REMINDED OF US A BLACK JESUS… ANY DETAILS?
CTG – I can’t say the name of the movie, but yeah I’m definitely playing a Black Jesus. Yep, I’m playing Black Jesus!