By Derrick Lane
The veteran comic Deon Cole (whom you might know from his role on Blackish, Grownish or his many on-screen appearances on Conan, where he worked as a writer) is just downright funny. From his laid-back demeanor on stand up to his hilarious one-liners on blackish, Cole keeps us laughing.
It’s hard to believe that the Chicago-bred comic was once just doing “dumb stuff on the streets of Chicago,” until a friend bet him $50 to go onstage to do some amateur stand-up. He took the money and never looked back.
But, it’s not like he didn’t have bumps on the road to stardom, like that time where he got kicked off a Def Comedy Jam tour when he ran out of material. But used that as a springboard to learn how to write comedically. Or that other time he became so bitter after moving to Los Angeles for a job that didn’t pan out that another comedian told him to go home if he didn’t like it — because the city wasn’t going to change just for him.
“And I thought, ‘Wow, right, what am I doing?’” he recalled in a recent interview.
Now, the sought-after 48-year-old funnyman is making everyone laugh from coast to coast.
When it comes to his latest Netflix comedy special, Cole Hearted, he says, “Comedically, man, I’m just trying to be on a page where I can just uplift people, no matter what it is. Just try to give them some type of upliftment and make them laugh. At the same time, make them think.
“It’s going to sound weird but knowing that failure is part of what we do as stand ups and embracing that, once you embrace that then it becomes easy because you don’t expect every moment to be magical. Conan O’Brien taught me that too. Conan taught me that every moment can’t be magical and if every moment was magical, we wouldn’t have magic moments. A lot of people let themselves down and beat themselves in the head looking for magic moments all the time when you should know that’s not a given. You have to know that that’s not part of the job. The everyday part of the job is the letdown.”
“I like crowd work, man. It just brings you into the people. It’s just another layer of comedy. Like with my special, one thing that I like to do is…
… an array of different styles of stand up. I like to do rapid fire sh*t, I like to do crowd work, I like to do what some may consider low-hanging fruit, but it ‘aint to everybody. Other people love it. And I like to do real complicated material, I like to do thought provoking material, I like to make people love themselves, I like just dirty jokes. I like to call my set like a mix tape. There’s something for everybody on there. I’ve got my down South music, I’ve got my hip hop music, I’ve got my club songs, I’ve got a song that shouts out my mother, I’ve got a dead homie song on there. An array of different styles. That’s what I tend to go with. And not be one-sided. I believe if you watch it, it doesn’t feel one-sided.”