J.B. Smoove Responds To Mike Epps’ ‘Top Five’ Comments

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Call J.B. Smoove the Jack of all trades. After playing sidekick to Chris Rock’s character Andre Allen in the seriously funny Top Five and hosting celebrity dinners on MSG’s Four Courses, the veteran funny man’s main concern is flourishing.

VIBE recently chatted with J.B. after reports swirled of Mike Epps’ recent comments on Top Five. “I haven’t seen it. I don’t know why they called it Top Five. There wasn’t one good comedian in the whole movie,” Epps said on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. “I don’t know why they keep giving Chris Rock opportunities. He’s a great stand-up and a good Meerkat. When do these white people – they’re blind. They keep giving the wrong dude opportunities.”

J.B. had no time for negativity and instead praised the talents of all involved. See his lengthy response below.—As told to Adelle Platon (@adelleplaton)

“I know Mike very well and I am never one for negative thoughts. Everything in this life is a journey. No one, in their right mind, is born and immediately, everything is perfect in their world, career or relationships. Everyone has their ups and downs. Everyone has their moments. Those moments take time to build and get better with experience. I am hoping those words weren’t true or were misquoted because we all have our journey to complete. No one’s journey is complete until they’re off this planet. No one in this world can do [something] exactly as [someone else] sees it or in a perfect manner.

“There’s a lot of great comics out there but everyone is on their separate journeys.

I had an amazing time… Let’s break down this movie for instance. Everybody in this movie is on their separate journey. Chris is on his journey to become a director, an actor, a writer. He’s done amazing things in stand-up and I don’t know anyone in stand-up right now, in this world, who could mess with Chris Rock on stage. I don’t care what anybody says. When he’s on that stage and he’s rocking, I don’t know too many people who could mess with him. There’s a lot of great comics out there but everyone is on their separate journeys.

Chris’ journey is intersecting with everybody else’s journey. When he picks a phone up, that’s continuing the journey for everyone in the movie. So if you pick that phone up and call Leslie Jones, she’s on her journey to become a better comedian and better actress. She’s one of the newest females on SNL. Now, her journey is intersecting with Chris Rock’s journey ’cause she was called to be in a movie.

Michael Che is on SNL, also. He just got moved up to the Update Desk on SNL. How many times you see a black man even do an update on SNL? He just knocked down a wall. He got a call from Chris Rock to be in a Chris Rock movie. This all continues his journey.

“I like to stay on the positive note on everything because you have to allow certain things to go the way they’re supposed to go. Whether that was said or wasn’t said, you have to allow the process to take its course.”

Sherri Shepherd, who’s amazing on The View, was in a play on Broadway. Amazing, funny lady, personality, everything. Her journey is now intersecting with Chris Rock’s journey. Name anybody in that movie and everybody has amazing things going on. You got Jerry Seinfeld in the movie. One of the most historic comedians [with a] historic show called Seinfeld. You have Adam Sandler, also very successful. Whoopi Goldberg knocked down plenty of comedic walls. Tracy Morgan [is] absolutely amazing. Amazing success on 30 Rock. Amazing comedian. Ex-cast member of Saturday Night Live also.

I don’t focus on myself when I’m dealing with somebody else’s journey… A friend called me and I loved the project. I lent my services to it just like how I would love anyone else to lend their services to myself and my show Four Courses. I like to stay on the positive note on everything because you have to allow certain things to go the way they’re supposed to go. Whether that was said or wasn’t said, you have to allow the process to take its course. The only thing that’s guaranteed is what you already have. You cannot proclaim yourself anything until you accomplish that goal and put it in your pocket. You can’t take praise for anything you haven’t done yet. You can’t knock down what somebody else has already done. I just hope it wasn’t true because there was, maybe, 15 comics in the movie doing amazing things and I don’t see anybody hungry. I don’t see anybody having eggs thrown at them on stage. I don’t see anybody getting booed. I see everybody doing their own thing, having a good time and taking advantage of the blessings we have as comedians to have this amazing voice. To have someone silence that voice, whether directly or indirectly, is not cool.”