Pint-sized comedy prince Lil Duval’s To-Do list can run circles around your average funny guy. With several talk shows on the MTV2 rotation and stand up gigs in tow, the comedian (real name Roland Powell) put the laughs on freeze and talks television versus stand-up, getting catfished and the absolute man laws that cannot be broken…with a straight face. —April Dawn Ricchuito
VIBE: Where do you find inspiration for your jokes?
Lil Duval: I like to use broader commonalities and things everyone can relate too. Pop culture is here today and gone tomorrow. Young people, y’all don’t know what you like. If there’s a celebrity break up, I won’t talk about the celebrities specifically, because not everyone may like them, but I will talk about the breakup. It’s something everyone can relate too, cause everyone’s been there before.
Right now, you’re doing both TV and stand up. Which do you like better and why?
It’s hard to compare; I like them both. On TV, I have the luxury of being able to plan things out, which is cool. I have time to think about my jokes. Stand up is irreplaceable, though. I can see the audience’s feedback, wait for a response, and then go from there. It becomes their show too; that’s what makes stand up irreplaceable.
The show Guy Code is basically what it sounds like–the man laws for all things male. What are some of your own personal man laws?
Okay, first and foremost, there’s the “Skip a Stall” rule. You never, ever use the stall right next to one all ready being used. Go one stall over. You gotta skip a stall.
Always take up for your homeboy, even if it’s your sister ’cause the women will stay siding with other women. It can be your own mama talking about “I know my son ain’t shit, but…” See, women and men have different ideas of “ain’t shit.” So unless there was something physical going on, I gotta take the dude’s side. A woman might say a man “ain’t shit” over a man being a man and doing things like not flushing the toilet or not cleaning up after himself. That’s not “ain’t shit.” An “ain’t shit” man is one who’s not providing, one who’s getting physical, not taking care of his kids. So unless he’s doing that stuff, you men, you gotta side with the men, even if he’s dating your sister.
Never throw your boy under the bus for some pussy. Wait, I don’t know if you can say that; You can’t say that, can you? Hold up, I gotta rephrase that. Never mess with your man’s ex. Why you trying to holler at that man’s baby mama?
On Ain’t That America, you show some of the funniest viral videos that you run across. What makes a good viral video?
Shock. It takes shock. There also has to be something relatable and fun happening. We all do crazy stuff, we’re just not always recording it.
On tonight’s episode of Ain’t That America, you’re gonna be talking about catfishing. Have you ever been catfished?
Yes! Everbody’s been catfished, because let me tell you about what happened to me. I saw her and then the next time I saw her, she gained weight. She didn’t warn me that she looked different. That’s a catfish to me, when they don’t look the same as the last time you saw them.
What else can we look forward to from you this year?
My main focus right now is Ain’t That America. You can watch it with your kids and not cringe, whereas if you bring a kid to my stand up show… (Pause) Don’t bring a kid to my stand up show. Just don’t. There are certain places you have to just chill, even as a comedian. Ain’t That America is for everybody, so it shows a different aspect of me; it’s a different Duval. People thought I was only a hood comic or you could only relate to me if you’re black, so this allows me to show a different aspect of my personality and my comedy. This is my way of showing them that it really ain’t no different and letting people decide for themselves.