One of the more prevalent myths in Hollywood is that celebrities “blow up” overnight. This idea remains prevalent, because people rarely do their research on popular artists, instead assume that the first time they saw them, was the first time they worked.
Rodney Perry, a comedian who has spent many years in the entertainment industry working alongside of artist such as Kim Whitley, George Lopez, Cedric the Entertainer and Steve Harvey is one such performer.
Currently he is being featured on Bounce TV’s stand-up comedy series ‘Off the Chain,’ premiering tonight, Tuesday, January 13 at 9/8c.
‘Off the Chain’ features veteran comic s that has been proven funny, such as Michael Colyar, Kim Coles, Cocoa Brown and Rudy Rush. In this one-hour special, Perry promises a “clean for network television” set of jokes with “no profanity.”
“It wasn’t outside my box,” explained Perry, “but it did make me be creative than I have been, because I had to really keep it clean and find other words to use instead of the easy cuss words. We cover everything from [me being] a father of six children, I talk about raising my children, I cover my wife, to some relationship stuff. I’m really fond of this set.”
Perry first gained popularity for appearing on Monique’s late night talk show. It was Academy Award winner, Mo’Nique that introduced him to the world of late night talk shows as her partner in crime on BET’s ‘Mo’Nique Show.’ However, Perry got his start, on screen way back in 1971, singing and dancing on the Sesame Street spin off, ‘The Electric Company.’
That charismatic and funny kid went on to become the co-host for TV One’s “Who’s Got Jokes,” and play as Harold in ‘Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family.’ Perry is preparing for 2015 with a new made-for-TV comedy special ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy,’ and hosting his popular online radio show, ‘Rodney Perry Live.’
“I’m a stand-up comic first,” said Perry, “but what I realized early on in my career, is that all my favorite comedians were actors as well. If I ever wanted to really have a huge audience, then I had to get my acting on, so people would come see me do my stand up.”
Perry’s past shaped his future, and even as a youth his talent shined bright enough for those around him to see.
“I always wanted to do [stand-up comedy]. I had a teacher in the second grade that let me tell jokes at the end of the day, if I would shut up throughout the course of the day. My parents used to have people come by the house and anytime they would have a get together, they would listen to these records. You know Richard Prior, Moms Mabley, so I had a working knowledge of what comedy was very early on. So, I knew that I wanted to do it. It took me a while to find it as a profession though.”
Being a Navy Yeoman, stationed in New Orleans, Perry found his first paid gig as a comedian in the early 90s.
“[Getting paid gigs] legitimizes everything,” said Perry describing the feeling that he felt after getting paid to create and present his stand-up comedy. “When you get some money for doing what you love to do, it just makes everything real.”
Fast-forwarding several hard working years, Perry found himself out of the Navy and working as a professional comedian looking to capitalize off of some of his past hard work.
“I already had a relationship with Bounce TV. I had a weekly show over there called ‘Off the Chain.’ What they wanted to do at the network was expand on the ’Off the Chain’ brand into one hour specials. So when they started talking about doing the one hour specials, you gotta, at the very least, go to the guy you have been working with [over the past] few years. So, they called me. They were like, “Rodney, you want a special?” I was like, “Hell, yeah!””
Rodney Perry is not done with acting, having two films coming out plans on doing other comedy specials in the future, including a trip in early January 2015 to entertain the American troops stationed in Japan.
“For me personally, it’s been an incredible journey, in terms of working with Mo’Nique, working with people like Bill Bellamy on ‘Who’s Got Jokes.’ Those shows gave me a platform where people know my name. Now this comedy special is gonna show you what I really do. Rodney Perry is a stand-up comic and you’re gonna see it in full color on January 13th on Bounce TV.”
For more information on Rodney Perry or the comedy special ‘Off the Chain: Rodney Perry,’ go to http://www.bouncetv.com/shows/off-the-chain/.