Host/Writer/Actor Kevin Thompson has been making major moves over the past few years. You might not recognize the name right away but you will know him from his contributions as AOL’s Mr. Moviefone where he interviews the industry’s top celebrities in regards to their upcoming films. Before landing the promising gig, Kevin worked behind the scenes at such shows like CBS’ The Early Show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire and The Wendy Williams Show. With his determination and hustle, it was only a matter of time before Kevin would have the world in his palms.
The young Brooklyn native took time out of his bust schedule to sit down with us to discuss his career including his upcoming internet series, The Kevin Thompson Show.
Parlé Magazine: How did you get your start in the entertainment industry?
Kevin Thompson: I have to thank the college I went to, St. John’s University, it was there I discovered my true love. I was a host at the school and people liked me so much for doing it that they started paying me to do so. Hosting events seemed like a job no one wanted to do but I found a lot of opportunities there for me.
Parlé: You also attended the famous Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, what was that like?
Kevin: After I graduated St. John’s I got into that. During that time I was working at The Wendy Williams Show and I wanted to get back into comedy. I had just lost a contest to be the host at 106 & Park on BET so I was a bit upset and I didn’t know what I wanted to do next but I knew I wanted to do comedy so I started looking for something to fill my time with. UCB is one of the great comedy schools on the east coast. A lot of people come from Second City in Chicago including Amy Poehler, who co-founded the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.
Parlé: Why do you think improv isn’t as popular in the Black Community?
Kevin: One of the things that I think holds us back is that in order to attend these types of classes, you have to pay a lot of money to attend these classes. When I went it was $300 close to $400 to take a class there. It’s worth it if you have the money not only with the experience but the networking possibilities but many of us see the price tag and get turned off by it. But it is starting to pick up, there’s a DJ on Hot 97 that hosts his own improv classes that have picked up some attention.
Parlé: How’d you land the Mr. Moviefone deal?
Kevin: I credit St. John’s for that. Someone I went to school with told me about the contest after I had been doing the improv classes because they thought I’d be interested. Another Johnny shot my audition video. A third Johnny edited it. Weeks after posting my audition vid on Youtube I was caught in a 22-hr flight delay to Hawaii. To kill time I sat at the airport & sent direct personal messages to nearly 3 thousand people about watching my audition video. This upped my “like” numbers tremendously on my YouTube audition video. Due to all the likes my video eventually caught the attention of the top dogs at Moviefone. They wanted to Skype with me but I took it a step further and flew myself into LA just for the audition. When it was over I flew back to NY. I got the job a month later.
Parlé: When conducting interviews as Mr. Moviefone, is it scripted or do you freestyle it?
KT: It’s a little bit of both, the people behind Mr. Moviefone trust me enough to let me do my own thing which can be terrifying but it shows that they respect me and what I do. If it’s a highly anticipated interview I do tend to stick to script but most of the time depending on the mood I let the flow take me.
Parlé: Talk to me about The Kevin Thompson show. What can we expect from that?
Kevin: It’s me playing several characters and myself unfiltered. We discuss a wide variety of topics. I play five characters; the host is myself as Kevin Thompson. One of the characters is a yardie Jamaican, there’s a ghetto dude from Brooklyn, Skyler is the surfer stoner type and the last one is a silent thug who mostly mimes, which requires a lot of body language on my part because he doesn’t speak much.
Parlé: Playing multiple characters can be exhausting, do you ever confuse them.
Kevin: No not really. All my characters sound different but after a long day of shooting I’ve been told by other people who work on the show with me that sometimes when I do the thug from Brooklyn that he and my voice (as Kevin Thompson Host) sound similar.
Parlé: Where do you get the inspiration?
Kevin: All these characters are a part of me, they’re either from things I’ve personally experienced or people I know. I grew up in a Jamaican household, I’m from Brooklyn and I went to a majority white school and that’s where I get three of the characters from.
Parlé: Besides the show, do you have anything else in the works?
Kevin: Right now, it’s all about the show. I’ve got things I’m working on and want to do but my primary attention is on the internet series which’ll be dope so people should check it out.
Parlé: When does the show air?
Kevin: January 31st on kevindthompson.tv It’s only January and I’m making moves this year.
Parlé: You have an event coming up, do you mind telling the people what going down?
Kevin: I’m having a party at Slate in NYC for the launch of my website which is KevinDThompson.TV but the website itself is pretty much a combination of my work from the last six years and my live events. The launch is just to get the word out and network.
Parlé: Is the launch party open to the public or invite only?
Kevin: It’s by invite only but industry people can attend or you can just hit me up on my social media to find out the details.
Parlé: What are you social media contacts?
Kevin: The main website is kevindthompson.tv that’s where people can catch the upcoming show. All my social media platforms are @kevindthompson, I’m always interested in what the fans have to say.
Parlé: Do you have any aspiring words you want to leave the readers with?
Kevin: I often quote Maya Angelou, “People often won’t remember what you said or did but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.”
Be sure to check out Kevin “Mr. Moviefone” Thompson’s new show, The Kevin Thompson show beginning on January 31st at www.kevindthompson.tv