Shawty Shawty – One Of Atlanta’s Kings of Comedy

Our Interview with Atlanta Comedian Shawty Shawty

What does it take for an Atlanta comedian to break out? Hustle, heart, and passion sound like a credible three. Shawty Shawty has shown he has all those qualities and more. He had the heart to go on stage his first time, the hustle to become a major star, after appearing in movies and TV, and the passion to continue on through his struggles and setbacks. Shawty sat with Parlé to discuss the Atlanta comedy scene, how he got to where he is, and where he plans to go.

 

Parlé: Do you feel as though you’ve gotten your big break yet, if so what was it?
Shawty Shawty: I think I’ve been blessed along my career. I’ve been in videos, commercials; I’ve been featured in films, on Wild N’ Out. God has blessed me to be in a steady pace, but I just need that perfect role in a movie, or in one or two more big movies.

Parlé: Is there any role in particular that you’re looking for??
Shawty Shawty: I just need that role to animate me, and to personify the funniest in me. It doesn’t have to be that big–kind of like Chris Rock in I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. That wasn’t a big role, but that role had a big impact. I just need that role that people would remember you for.

Parlé: That’s cool man. So what’s it like when you go out of town?
Shawty Shawty: Oh it’s all love in the other parts of the U.S., nothing but love. I’m a real high-energy comic; I have the crowd loving it. It’s beautiful man, from Miami to L.A to NY. My act is like a roller coaster. I went up against a cat from NY at the Apollo, but NY got so much love. The crowd in the Apollo was chanting my name. I have been well perceived in Detroit, St. Louis, the Comedy Store, in Los Angeles. I love to perform, the stage is my thing.

Parlé: But it wasn’t your dream goal as a child to be a comedian right?
Shawty Shawty: I mean I always liked to make people laugh. I always liked to entertain, since the 4th grade. I was a dancer. My mom told me God blessed everyone with a talent, but it’s up to you to pull it out. So I was praying from young, asking God to please pull it out of me!

Parlé: Did your accent hinder you at any time?
Shawty Shawty: Some people would be like, ‘You talk funny.’ But they’re from L.A., I talk different, I have a southern appeal in my voice. I learned to slow down and pace myself, and I’ve adapted very well. I did a weekend at Caroline’s, and that was one of the best weekends I ever did. To be at that comedy club in Manhattan, it was beautiful; we sold out the whole weekend.

 

Parlé: Where are you from exactly?
Shawty Shawty: I’m from Southwest Atlanta, also known as SWATS. I went to school with Cee Lo Green, Jim Crow is from there, Sean Paul, Outkast, and I grew up with Polow Da Don


Parlé:
Do you think a person’s location can alter their success as far as being a comedian, considering the amount of success comedians from Atlanta have seen?
Shawty Shawty: A lot of stuff is coming to Atlanta now, but ATL is a great stepping stone to where you got to go. Coming up I said, ‘I’m going to get in these rappers videos.’ We had BET’s Comic View, but when I got into it I was already doing comedy for six years. Regardless, Bruce Bruce, Sommore and others had their time, but it’s easy for others to get lost in the shuffle…I got kids too. I went to LA and stayed out there, just kept building, building up my fans, getting more performances. I’m a full time father, and my kids live with me, but to get that role I know is out there for me, I got to stay out there in L.A. You got to stay there; if I stayed I would get a whole lot more attention. People make movies in Atlanta but they cast them out in L.A. So you definitely got to be the man where you’re from before you leave.


Parlé:
What differences have you seen between comics from the South and comics from other regions?
Shawty Shawty: I’m a comedy fan period, everyone got their own style. When someone say he ain’t funny, I don’t really believe that. But there are differences between Atlanta comics and say, a New York comic.

 

Parlé: What’s the difference to you?
Shawty Shawty: The language is different, there are high energy comedians in NY, like Capone, but they’re from a different region. So for instance, they do a lot of Haitian jokes in New York, but there are no Haitians in Atlanta, to talk about. They all rep their different regions differently, it’s all comedy at the end of the day. Comedy is comedy, no matter what region you’re from.

Parlé: And what was your first time on stage like? Opposed to your comfort up there now?
Shawty Shawty: Wow, my first time on stage? Well, alright let me tell you a story, this is how I became a comedian. I went through this relationship with this chick, I was 17, and we broke up. And this was my first girlfriend! So that messed up my mind. At some point I just started walking around acting crazy, making people laugh, and then I was telling people that I was a comedian and stuff. One night I was watching Def Comedy Jam with Bruce Bruce, and I saw Chris Tucker. And I was like, “that’s where I’m supposed to be!” I started by trying a couple jokes on people. I never been on stage though, but I saw this contest at the Comedy Corner in Atlanta. I got my man I.D., and I checked in there. I went on stage, what I did wasn’t appropriate for the crowd and it wasn’t all that hot. So I went back and re-did some stuff. I came up to Bruce Bruce who was there and asked him if he could put me on stage. I got up there, started beat-boxing and dancing; after I did that skit, they went crazy. I signed to do an open mic every Tuesday for the next two years. The first time I went on the road I made 50 bucks, but I was happy to do it. Bruce took me under his wing, and turned me on to the world. A lot of the spots where I’m popular at were where I was popular before I got on TV.


Parlé:
So how did Wild N’ Out come about?
Shawty Shawty: I met Nick (Cannon) at the Comedy Store, and we had a brief conversation. Our people exchanged numbers, and I didn’t hear anything from him for a couple months. Until I was at home in Atlanta, and he called like ‘Hey I want you to come do my show.’ I asked him when he needed me and he was like ‘Tomorrow.’ I was thinking in my head I got a family, and stuff like that. But my son was excited, because he knew who he was. I went on to do a third season with them.

Parlé: Do you think there is a parallel when it comes to Hip-Hop and comedy?
Shawty Shawty: There’s definitely a parallel. I know guys that have been doing comedy for 20 years from hustling in Atlanta that never got that exposure. Real funny cats that don’t utilize Hip-Hop, the way comedy is going to Hip-Hop, it’s crazy.

Parlé: What’s next?
Shawty Shawty: I’m filming a movie with Yung Joc called Three Days Notice. It won’t be out this summer, probably the beginning of August, 2011. We’re also finishing up the script on my biographical movie, with Lil’ Chuckee from Young Money and Greg Street. That’s going to be called Shawty. Oh and I have an advertising company called Champagne Kings. We have a fleet of promotional vans, and we also promote parties. You can follow me on Twitter @shawtycomedian.


Parlé:
Alright no doubt! Do you have any words for upcoming comedians, notably from Atlanta?
Shawty Shawty: Young comedians, find you a stage and stay on it consistent. Find an open mic and present yourself. Be you, don’t let no one change you, just be you!


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