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Published on November 18th, 2013 | by StandUpTalk
Run The Light With Dwayne Perkins
In this edition of Run The Light we interview stand up comedian Dwayne Perkins.
Ari: Where did you start doing comedy and how did you get up for the first time?
Dwayne: I started in 1995, I was in school hosting pageants, contests, variety shows,while I was hosting I would be funny. I always enjoyed watching stand up comedy but didn’t really know how to go about doing it. One summer I met someone who was doing it, I had a summer internship at Microsoft and I said to myself if I get the job I will move to Seattle to work and if I don’t get the job I am going to start doing stand up.
Ari: What would you have done for Microsoft?
Dwayne: I was a computer design major and I interviewed to be a software tester. They flew me to Seattle for the interview and everything.
Ari: Who are your biggest comedic influences?
Dwayne: I love George Carlin, he had a major influence on me, Eddie Murphy influenced everyone. Bill Cosby, Jerry Seinfeld, Richard Pryor, Paul Riser, George Wallace. So many guys on Evening at the Improv, and The Tonight’s Show. Whatever stand up was on I gravitated towards.
Ari: How would you compare living in New York to LA? Both personally and the mindset of the comedians.
Dwayne: It’s weird because I have lived in LA 10 years now but people still think of me as NY guy and I definitely still feel like a NY guy in a lot of ways. LA has become my second home though. On the surface people will say NY comics are more about the comedy and more focused on doing standup because in LA there is more to do but when you take the LA comics that are serious about stand up they are both great. NY comics can do four sets a night in LA its more spread out with less stage time but LA comics are writing sketches, screenplays, one man shows.
Ari: You were just on Conan, how did that come about, what was the experience like?
Dwayne: I have been on Conan back when he was in New York four times, I did his tonight show once and his TBS show twice. When I got on Conan for the first time I was still working my IT job which was where I got the call. I dropped out of grad school and my goal was to get on TV before my friends graduated from school… I almost made it.
Ari: How did that relationship with Conan form?
Dwayne: I was doing the Chicago comedy festival in 1999 his bookers were there, then the next day I was in Boston and they happened to see me there as well. They liked me.
Ari: What is your process like for a TV set?
Dwayne: Normally it’s five minutes from my act that I think is good for TV however two or three of my sets were actually newer jokes that I happened to like at the time.
Ari: What is your next big goal?
Dwayne: I would love to just do more weather that be a sitcom, talk show, a comedy special.
Ari: Any advice for newer comedian out there?
Dwayne: Try and have fun on stage, I think its great to be edgy and provocative but try and be funny first. I think a comedian should try and be funny and then try and find their voice. Work on your funny and your voice will come. Listen to all your sets, I still record my sets and listen back to them. Sometimes hearing my jokes back gives me new ideas. Stay busy.
Ari: Where is your favorite place to perform in LA?
Dwayne: The Comedy and Magic Club is one of the best clubs in America, all the great comics hang out there, if you make it into that club you know you are a professional. I also really like the Laugh Factory, they have the best crowds who are ready to laugh and some of the best young talent.