Craig Robinson Doesn’t Mind Being the Token Black Guy


Actor and comedian Craig Robinson is one of those guys in Hollywood; one of those guys whose real name is familiar to only pop culture/famous people aficionados. To the mildly aware, he is “Daryl Philbin” in NBC’s The Office, a role that went from guest appearance to starring role by the show’s fourth season. To the completely detached, Robinson is the guy whose performance as a nameless security guard in 2007’s Knocked Up, had audiences howling in laughter, if only for a couple of minutes.

Still it’s only a matter of time before Robinson’s anonymity turns into bona-fide famous person status. With a starring role in the film Hot Tub Time Machine (opening today) alongside John Cusack and Chevy Chase, Robinson is slowly but surely making the transition from one of those guys, to the guy whose real name even the detached know.

Robinson talked to VIBE about his new movie, his blend of stand-up comedy and music, and the approximate number of women who throw their panties on the stage at one of his shows. —Jozen Cummings

VIBE: You’re on one of the more popular television sitcoms, and you’ve played some big parts in movies like Pineapple Express, but what role do you get recognized for the most?
Craig Robinson:
It’s definitely the bouncer role. It’s a calling card. I know a lot of people say The Office but it definitely might be tied with the bouncer. A lot of people love that role.

Do bouncers ever pull the same routine on you in real life?
Of course that’s what they do. Nowadays I’ll tell them, ‘Hey man I represented you on the screen remember?’

Talk about your new film, Hot Tub Time Machine. What is it about?
It’s about four guys who get in a hot tub and go back to the 80s. Bam! What else would it be?

Chevy Chase is in that too, right? What was it like to work with him?
He’s real cool, laid back, and funny as hell. He’s actually an avid jazz drummer player and he can shoot some pool. He can’t beat me in pool, but he can shoot the hell out some pool.

Trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine