Just before 2014 came to a close, we got a chance to check out Mike Epps stop at The Ontario Improv comedy club. Comedy Hype writer Nika Simone was in attendance to exclusively talk to Epps in the midst of him selling out 4 consecutive shows.
Four sold out nights the weekend before Christmas at the Ontario improv proves that Mike Epps continues and plans on staying relevant in the comedy game. Mike Epps is amongst a comedian class of performers, such as names like Eddie Griffin, Chris Tucker even Tommy Davidson, who were everywhere at one point in their careers; movies, television, comedy specials…basically in their prime but Epps continues to stay relevant.
He credits smart decision making in his movie role selections, as well as looking for ways to keep his comedy fresh by reinventing himself are the key factors to his years in the business.
“I really like what I do. This is a serious craft for me,” Epps said in a past interview with KMOJ 89.9.
Mike Epps’ professional career started in 1995 when he was added to the Def Jam Comedy Tour. Quick witted, always ready with banter that’s naturally comedic without effort…he contains a comedy style that doesn’t seem rehearsed…he’s just up there having a good time and so is the audience.
Epps finished the night at the Improv with his last set of jokes and a standing ovation from a crowd of every ethnicity and walk of life; giving high fives as he made his way to the green room. Lingering fans trying to get pictures, he comes back out to replay the night.
Nika Simone: “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe you don’t do jokes or material; You just go on stage and have a good time.
Epps: “I don’t. It’s not jokes to me…it’s a conversation. I’m just talking to the people. For me, going on stage is like walking from out my bedroom into my living room and people there.”
Epps: “Yeah, yeah! What’s up, y’all? Thanks for hanging out?”
With Lee Daniels, director of “The Butler” and the highly anticipated Richard Pryor film in attendance, Epps seems to catch the essence of Richard Pryor with a delivery that’s pure and from the heart.
Though best known for the role of “Day Day Jones” in the Ice Cube flick ” Next Friday” and “Friday After Next”, at some point in a comedian/actor’s career comes the chance to showcase their depth. With this upcoming opportunity to play comedy legend Richard Pryor, this quite possibly could be that defining role for Epps.
Bringing the essence of Richard Pryor in a biopic was a role sought out by many Hollywood names; Nick Cannon, Marlon Wayans, Terrance Howard but the assignment is given to Epps. A task not only to embody and bring this icon to life for today’s generation to appreciate but another opportunity for the comedian to reinvent himself again.
Still being relevant at your craft is longevity and it’s not an easy task. Epps attracts a loyal fan base through his work that we will continue to see Epps perform on comedy stages selling out shows for a long time. Longevity is George Carlin, Bill Cosby, Chris Rock, Seinfeld, George Lopez…“Longevity is what I am.” -Mike Epps
– Nika Simone
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