EMGWorld speaks with comedian Doo Doo Brown on his journey in comedy
Background: Stand-up Comedian
From: Atlanta, GA
EMGWorld: How did you come up with the name Doo Doo Brown?
Doo Doo Brown: When I made the decision to do comedy I knew I didn’t want to use my government name. I wanted a stage name that could have intro music whenever I performed. While I was thinking about a name I heard the song "Doo Doo Brown" by 2 Hype Brothers and a Dog on the radio. Brutha Marquis of 2Live Crew later gave me the name 'Doo Doo Brown.' A light bulb went off in my head and the heavens were telling me this is your name and this is your song. Twenty years later, I've rocked with it ever since.
EMGWorld: What was it like performing for the first time on stage?
DDB: I was nervous, but my material was well received by the audience. I was on stage for about 2 minutes and managed to get some laughs.
EMGWorld: Which comedians did you watch or study while you were trying to create your own style?
DDB: What's crazy is that I grew up listening to comedians and had no clue they were comedians. My mother played albums of Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx, Bill Cosby, Rudy Rae Moore, Flip Wilson, etc. Redd Foxx was just Fred Sanford to me. Rudy Rae Moore was just Dolemite to me. I never considered them as stand-up comics, but you could say I studied them. I also studied George Carlin, Bill Murray, John Belushi, Steve Martin, Tim Conway, Sam Kinison. These were white comedians that I consider powerful.
EMGWorld: What was it like to be apart of such a historic program like Def Comedy Jam?
DDB: To go from “watching it” on television to actually “performing in it” was an honor. To wear that Def Comedy Jam "Access Pass" around my neck was a sign of approval. Plus, it was a great paycheck for an aspiring comedian. The show catapulted alot of careers and put a lot of people in the mainstream. Hats off to Russell Simmons for creating that platform for me and so many other comics.
EMGWorld: Which comedian would you say has had the most influence over your career in comedy?
DDB: Without a doubt Richard Pryor. Everybody loved Richard. Richard had just as many white fans as he did black. Richard was rough, raw and said what he wanted to say, but was still accepted by everyone. I set out to be "Pryoresque."
“No real comedian will respect you if you're stealing material." – Doo Doo Brown, EMGWorld’s ‘Confessions of a Comic’
EMGWorld: How challenging is it for a comedian to appeal to more than one audience?
DDB: Most comics are only good for one particular audience, but when you put them in front of a mainstream audience the applause is lackluster. In the beginning of the career I was in that boat. I would get pandemonium with a black crowd and get only chuckles with a mainstream audience.
EMGWorld: So you would get chuckles from a mainstream audience, but no crickets?
DDB: No crickets. I was far from boring. Mainstream crowds just didn't find me hilarious, only shocking and OBNOXIOUS.
EMGWorld: How do you know when you have successfully captured your audience?
DDB: In comedy, we call it "thunder." The thunder is when the crowd is LAUGHING out loud, PATTING the table with their hands and STOMPING their feet. Everyone reacts the same way. That's when you know you got em.' When you hear thunder you not only have the crowd, you own them.
EMGWorld: How challenging is it to handle a heckler throughout an entire set?
DDB: It's crazy because you'd think someone would be in good spirits if they're coming to see a comedy show. It's VERY challenging. Some comics live to be heckled. I was performing at Uptown Comedy Corner once and this lady was giving me the evil eye the moment I hit the stage. I hadn’t even told any jokes yet and she had this look on her face as if I owed her child support. As I went into my set on stage, everyone was laughing while she was giving me the "boo boo face."
See below how Comedian Doo Doo Brown handles a heckler
EMGWorld: Just how ugly can a situation get when you’re being interrupted by a heckler?
DDB: You'd think they've come to laugh but that's not always the case. I've had to hit a heckler in the head with a bottle once who tried to rush me on the stage. Something inside me said this guy was going to come on stage. I told him if he came onstage I would bust him in his head with a bottle. He ran across three rows of tables, came on the stage and I delivered to him exactly what I promised. The crowd went CRAZY!
EMGWorld: What would you say is the best outlet for up and coming comedians?
DDB: You have to hit the OPEN MIC nights. You can prepare by performing for friends and family until you're ready to step up to the mic on stage. Bernie Mac started out telling jokes on the trains in Chicago. Michael Colyer developed his audience on the Boardwalk at Venice Beach in California. They both had different ways of honing their skills for the stage. You can prepare for it however you want, but eventually you have to take your ass to the microphone. You have to step up to the plate.
EMGWorld: What would you say is the biggest mistake a comedian can make on stage?
DDB: Stealing material. In comedy, we call them hacks. No real comedian will respect you if you're stealing material.
EMGWorld: Is there anyone outside of comedy that played a role in your development?
DDB: I'd say Gary Williams. Gary was a comedy club manager at the Comedy Act Theater. When the white crowds would get up and walk out on me Gary would pull me to the side. Gary would say, "You don't give them a chance to like you. Once they like you then you can say whatever you want to them or about them, but they have to like you first." Gary helped me realize that they have to like you.
EMGWorld: Who would you say has done the most to open up the doors for the world of comedy?
DDB: Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby. Cosby was mainstream and Richard was that dude. To me they were the 'Ying and Yang" of comedy.
EMGWorld: Where can fans connect with you?
DDB: Comediandoodoobrown.com. From there you can go to my pages on twitter, facebook and youtube.