Gentlemen’s Corner: Damien Lemon Dishes on Celebs Breaking ‘Guy Code’ and What Women Should Know About Men
Take us from the days when you were at Vibe. How’d you transition from that to comedy?
I started comedy in ’05 and left Vibe in 2007. I didn’t want everyone to know I was doing it because that was still the age of side hustles and I wanted to be good. I was the Music and Entertainment Sales and Marketing Manager, one of the longest titles in the masthead. It was dope; I got to travel to LA maybe ten times a year. It was a vanity job, but once I got into the comedian thing, I started to lose the passion for doing sales and they peeped and I got let go. It was honestly a good thing because I kept saying “I’m gonna do this shit,” so it gave me the kick in the ass I needed.
When you got fired, how did you survive? How’d you pay your bills?
I had saved up money and I did get a severance so I had a little something and I was doing odd jobs. My family held me down, my lady held me down and I had a good support system . Around 2011, I was starting to gain momentum in comedy and I did an MTV comedy showcase and I rocked it. People from MTV hit me and asked if I had management and I told them I was actively looking for it. They linked me with my management. MTV would bring me in for various things to pitch a show about the worse rap videos ever. The creator of Guy Code came in and my old sales tactics kicked in. He said, “Oh I’m about to put a show on called Guy Code” and I said, “Oh I’d be good on that” in passing. They called me in with the director Andy Stuckey and it went well. They called me back to actually write on the show and then I went from the writer’s room to actually being on the show.
At that time were you aware it could be your breaking moment?
Nah ( laughs). You have so many moments where you’re like, “well this could be the one” and then it’s not. Shit has changed since Guy Code, but I didn’t even have that expectation. People hear “guy code” and hear a certain thing like real “bro-y,” but there are all types of guys on there; the Alpha male to dudes who get vulnerable. We’ve just finished season four coming out next year.
What’s the creative process behind the show?
There is a corkboard loaded with topics and we’ll look at the guys codes to that and then we think of the beats. For example, what is the guy code to when you’re in a interracial relationship; the questions and universal themes that come with that. In the room guys may have a story and if it resonates in the room then it eventually make the show. It’s unscripted, however you see the questions before hand.