Across America, Thursday nights belong to NBC and for the past three
seasons the hit comedy, "30 Rock" starring Tracy Morgan, Tina Fey and Alec
Baldwin is a huge reason why. We caught up with two of "30Rock's" larger than
life, award winning actors, Kevin "Dot Com" Brown and Grizz Chapman to talk
about mens body issues, the lies people tell themselves and getting animated!
Mia: Kev, we were talking at the photo shoot and you mentioned that most
people don't know that you're a seasoned stand-up comedian! Tell our
readers about your legendary stand-up career...
Kevin: Back in 1989 my brother and I started the Uptown Comedy Club in
New York. The club itself became legendary because it was the first black owned
comedy club on the east coast.The
Uptown Comedy Club was responsible for starting the hip-hop comedy movement. Shows
like Def Comedy Jam came from that movement.Our club was the first to pair a D.J. with a comedian for an
African-American audience. It changed the game.I never planned to be a comic.I intended to stay behind the scenes and manage
comedians.In 1999 we recorded a
comedy album and I spoke with each of the eight or so comedians on the tape in
hopes of managing their careers.Although I thought each could be the next big thing in comedy the guys
seemed crazy and I couldn't see myself investing in them.I decided to invest in myself and
become a comedian.It was a
business move for the betterment of my club because in order to put the club on
the map it needed a star.
When I made that decision I started from scratch. I re-invented myself
and even got a new name, "Big Kev Dot Com." I didn't use any of my comedy
connections to get ahead --I started standing on line and auditioning like
everyone else.I have a lot of
respect for the game so I wanted to go about it the right way. I needed to pay
my dues. About two years into my stand-up career I was cast on Last Comic
Mia: Your characters on NBC's, "30 Rock" have really
evolved. What led up to that?
Grizz: Well, when we first got the job I really don't think
they knew what they had in us. When they found out they had two diamonds in the
rough they took a bigger chance on us and it all worked out.
Kevin:The characters were originally just "extras"
and I remember when the casting director called me asking me to do it I let her
know that I didn't do background/extra work anymore.She asked me three times and I told her no three times! Then
she asked me to do it as personal favor so I said yes. We had no idea who was
on the show or anything.
When we shot the pilot there were originally four of us big guys
assigned to hang out with Tracy Morgan's character.
Tracy and I knew each other from the comedy club. When we first saw each
other on set he knew me as Big Kev Dot Com. He introduced us to Tina Fey as his
"family" Grizz and Dot Com.They
liked our chemistry and history with TracyBy the second episode they pulled us aside and
promoted us. I remember simultaneously smiling and crying a single tear like Denzel Washington in, "Glory."
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