Usually most comedians write joke books, whimsical musings on life or written versions of their standup routines as first books. Why did you want to write your autobiography, The Making of a Standup Guy?
Most people who know me know from Chappelle's Show; they know about the Rick James [skit] and all that but what they don’t know is there’s so much more to me and there is so much more that they can enjoy learning about me. So I put it together in a book. And I’ve gotten great feedback on it.
Did critics or detractors question why you should write an autobiography, especially ahead of Eddie?
Yeah. Some people were like, ‘How could you write a book? What have you done in life?’ Well read my book and find out. I know what I’m doing right now and I know how big I’m doing it but the media doesn’t. And I’ve got to talk about it. I went on a world tour. Did you hear about that? Did you know about that? That Charlie Murphy went on a world tour? No. You know that Chris Rock went on a world tour, because HBO made sure that everybody knew. Nobody made sure that anybody knew that about me. So I documented it and I’m the one that regurgitated it so that people can know, ‘Hey he’s done some things’.
But at age 50, aren’t you too young to write your life story?
I’m not too young to write an autobiography because my book highlights the fact that there’s nobody who can compare to me as far as the way my life has played out and the odds that I’ve beaten. I haven’t been doing the same thing all my life. I worn many hats and it was an adventure at each stage. Maybe in another fifty years I’ll write another book.
Let’s talk about some of those many hats you’ve worn in your life.
I served in the military for six years; prior to going into the Navy I served a year in jail [chuckles]. After I got out of the military I worked for my brother [Eddie] for five or six years as security personnel. And from there I went from there to writing films, selling scripts and getting in movies. And I wasn’t just getting into movies I was getting into films that were big movies.