Roy Wood Jr.’s Better America Includes ‘Accountability’, Talks With Comedy Hype

BY COREY TATE 

Comedian, actor and writer Roy Wood Jr. is the epitome of multitalented. Not only is Roy Wood Jr. a pivotal part of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”, but Roy is also a brilliant stand up comedian who tends to find intelligent, unpredictable angles on every joke. On Friday, January 25th at 11PM, Roy Wood Jr. is back to deliver more clever chuckles, as he premieres his brand new one-hour comedy special, “ No One Loves You” on Comedy Central.  Comedy Hype caught up with Roy Wood Jr. to get an exclusive scoop on his new one-hour special, plus more!

CH:  Your brand new comedy special, “No One Loves You”, premieres Friday, January 25th on Comedy Central at 11PM.  Who are you hoping to talk to in this special? Who are you hoping to reach?

RW: In my last special, “Father Figure”, I wanted to create something that my son could look back on and understand how I saw the world. My new one-hour special, ”No One Loves You” is more for the people. It’s always been my hope that people leave with different mindsets after they hear my jokes. For example, I hope that a white person hears certain jokes and says, “Wow, I have never thought about things that way.” And I hope that a black person hears the exact same jokes and says “That’s exactly what the fuck I’ve been trying to tell you.” This special is new information for some people and confirmation of existing conditions for others.

CH: What inspired the title of your new special, “No One Loves You”?

RW: We believe that empathy and morality is the norm in our society and it’s not. For example, people want good cops to step up, but also good cops are not going to just step up out of morality, they want more money. The fact of the matter is that people will put their happiness before your humanity. People are still watching the NFL and people are listening to R. Kelly. The worst part is, R. Kelly’s victims publicly told everyone what happened and people still support him and listen to his music. That’s the sad reality of the world we live in. There are good people in this world, but for the most part, no one loves you.

 

CH: If you could shape America to be the perfect country, what does Roy Wood’s ideal version of America look like?

RW: There would be a lot more accountability. Also, who wouldn’t want to live in a world with no crime, no racism and where women are treated equally? If we started fixing those three areas, everything else would take care of itself and we’d be living in pretty fantastic world. While we’re at, let’s sprinkle in a little bit of care for the damn environment.

CH:  There’s so much going on in the world at once and it’s probably a bit overwhelming when  it comes to choosing material to focus on. How did you narrow down what you wanted to talk about in “No One Loves You”?

RW: When I’m building my hour of comedy, I always try to find topics that have resulted in a division among the people; the national anthem, supporting the troops, the LGBTQ movement, the Me Too movement, gender pronouns and so on. I just want to give my take on things that have cause a divisiveness in society.

CH: You’re from Birmingham, AL — the south is very divisive in many aspects on its own. Comedians from the south usually have a special knack for observational comedy and seeing the world for what it really is. How did growing up in Birmingham, AL shape you as a comic?

RW: Issues such as race, crime, poverty and unemployment are things I’m constantly focused on, because they were so prevalent growing up in Birmingham. I have to look at things through a black filter and I wish I didn’t have to do that. Sometimes, writing jokes about Black Lives Matter protests is exhausting. But also, I don’t know when someone else will get the opportunity or the voice to talk about these things, so I have to keep that in mind.

CH:  You filmed “No One Loves You” in Chicago. You could’ve filmed this special anywhere — Why Chicago? What was special about Chicago to you?

RW: If nothing else, my comedy is about the black experience. This special is for people who are going through things that are exclusively tied to the black experience and Chicago is a place where the hard times are noticeably painful. My last comedy special was filmed in Atlanta for the exact same reasons; I wanted to film in a place where I could perform for the people who the jokes are actually written for. White people can enjoy the jokes too, but I want to make sure that black people know that they’re not alone on this journey.

CH:  Another voice that you currently have in comedy, is being one of the most beloved correspondents on Comedy Central’s, “The Daily Show”. What’s your absolute favorite part of being on “The Daily Show”?

RW: I enjoy being able to address issues from a Black American perspective. Trevor Noah can’t even address some of these issues, because he’s not a Black American. Trevor is Black, but he’s not American and that’s where I come in. We did a piece on gun violence in Chicago, the Million Man March, and a two-part piece on police reform. I honestly don’t know if these issues would have gotten addressed, but I’m very happy that I was able to be a part of these segments. Being on “The Daily Show” is a responsibility that I do not and cannot take lightly.

CH: On Friday, January 25th, everyone’s going to be tuning into your new one-hour special, “No One Loves You” on Comedy Central at 11PM — What else should we keep our eyes and ears peeled for?

RW: I’m still hosting the Comedy Central storytelling show, “This Not Happening”, which returns on February 1st. You can expect stories from DeRay Davis, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany Haddish and many more. I also have a sitcom pilot with Boondocks creator, Aaron McGruder. The show centers around two probation officers trying to do good in their community and it’s going to be so much fun.

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BY COREY TATE