JB Smoove Chats About Comedy Tours and Upcoming Movies
Everyone talks about the SNL experience as being a competitive boot camp. What did you learn from it?
It helped to develop my taste and patience. I had no idea about that stuff until now. Being in a room with 16 different writers and with cast members who write for themselves, you really have to have thick skin; it really prepares you for this industry. Even nowadays I sit here with more patience when things go wrong. Live TV has an amazing pace to it. You’ve got to be able to think quick, make changes last minute and be funny and fast. SNL is a great process and the best thing you could ever have on your resume.
What other upcoming movies do you have coming down the pipeline?
You can look out for me in We Bought A Zoo with Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. I also just finished the The Sitter with Jonah Hill, which is my first villain role and playing a bad guy was lots of fun. Sam Rockwell and I are chasing down Jonah Hill. Sam’s the mean bad guy and I’m the funny bad guy. I’m the bad guy that makes him laugh and who takes a bad situation and makes it funny. We are two of the craziest bad guys you’re ever going to see.
And you’re presently on a comedy tour, right?
I just left Boston with Richard Lewis, I’ll be in Baltimore first week in March and then I head to Caroline’s Comedy Club in New York City, my old stomping ground. Standup has been great, I’m back on the road and I’m working towards probably doing a TV special at the end of the year.
Do you think you’ll be more like Eddie Murphy and give up standup all together, or be like Chris Rock and continue to do movies and standup?
For me, standup will always be some part of my life and other things will move around and find their place. I live in phases because I like to entertain myself. I don’t know where I’ll be in the next ten years. I may even show up behind the camera. I love to put things together; I love to give direction I have a great eye for pace. Standup comedians pace helps because we’re used to a certain amount of laughs per minute, we’re used to entertaining an audience because standup gives you that immediate response from the audience, unlike movies and TV where you have to wait.
So it seems that with your latest projects you’ve hit a very successful mainstream stride.
I’ve been blessed with opportunities to do films where I’m allowed to do me and that’s a blessing. They’re allowing me to come in and cater the characters to myself. It allows me to come in and be loose and free as actor and that’s what any actor would love the opportunity to do. I’m in more control of my destiny.