Studio City, CA- I arrived at the DVD release party for comedian Alex Thomas, on time ( 7:00pm sharp). One of Hollywood's unwritten rules is that you always arrive late and leave early...I know these rules but, I was invited for dinner...AND I WAS HUNGRY...so, DAMN a rule!!
Alex Thomas was one of those 'cats' that you've seen before in movies and television but, you couldn't really remember his name..that is about to change for good. UrbanWorks Entertainment and Ventura Video has released his 1-hour special, Straight Clownin'. The Flow had an opportunity to speak with him.
TFM: What's up, AT?
AT: I'm chillin' man you know, I'm just Straight Clownin' That's basically self explanatory, you know what I'm saying?
TFM: You're coming out, your one of these comedians that have been out for a minute, people think you're just an overnight sensation, but you really [aren't] so, just give the people a little bit of background on what you've been doing.
AT: I've been working hard, man, I was a writer on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air for quite a few years back in the day. I've also been on The Jamie Foxx Show for the last couple of years playing Jamie Foxx's best friend on the show...Big shouts out to Jamie. I hosted the biggest tour in the history of Hip-Hop, 'The Up In Smoke Tour". We did 50 something cities. Me, Dr Dre, Ice Cube, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, everybody. I've been doing a lot of my movies, stuff like "Don't be a Menace to South Central," that was my first film, "Two Can Play That Game," "B.A.P.S," "Why Do Fools Fall In Love", "The Wash," a whole lot of stuff. It definitely didn't happen overnight. You know, I did Def Comedy Jam [when] I was real young. I did Def Comedy Jam like three times in the 90's. So, it definitely didn't happen overnight.
TFM: Well, I just wanted to let you know that I remember you from the McDonald's commercial, "You got a plan man". What's up with that, dogg?
AT: Wow!! The "Calvin" McDonald's commercial was my first commercial. It was actually one of the longest running McDonald's commercials in the history of McDonald's. It ran like 7 years. That basically kept money in my pocket when I was an amateur comic.
TFM: Residuals huh?
AT: Residuals, you know what I mean?. But this is actually my first show. It's called "Straight Clownin'" It's me, Will Smith, Dr. Dre, Jamie Foxx, Shaquille O'Neal, Tyra Banks. Everybody just came together, it really helped me on this project and it's called the Platinum Comedy Series. Steve Harvey's is out right now, Shaquille O'Neal's Roast, It's under Ventura Distribution and they've all been helping me out, big time.
TFM: Jeff Clanagan, from my hometown of San Jose (CA).
AT: Jeff Clanagan. Yeah, he really put it out. And my boy, one of my best friends who I grew up with, directed and produced this. His name is Ifeanyi Njoku. We all call him, Spike Spielberg . Because, Steven Spielberg was like his favorite guy throughout film school,and that's who he always looked up to. He's been producing and directing on MTV shows for years. And, we just came together and made it happen. I grew up with Tyra. Will Smith, I was a writer on his show for years. I'm on The Jamie Foxx Show. Shaquille O'Neal has always been a great friend of mine.And Dr. Dre has always been there for me from the beginning. And my stand-up, to put me in his movie "The Wash", and to host the biggest tour ever, "The Up In Smoke Tour".
TFM: You owe a lot to Hip-Hop and the Hip-Hop Community.
AT: I owe a lot to Hip-Hop.I'm the Hip-Hop Generation. That's what I am, who I am. I was a dancer back in the day. I was on tour with Run DMC, Hammer, Guy. I danced on Soul Train for 13 years. I was in 8th grade dancing on Soul Train. Comedy happened once when I was doing choreography on this famous show, "In Living Color". I was Rosie Perez' assistant with the Fly Girls. Off camera. And that's where I met Damon and Keenan (Wayans). They were like,: "You can dance but Bra, you are hilarious!" A year later I started doing stand-up.
AT: YOU KNOW! Straight Clownin' in stores everywhere in America. Blockbusters, Wherehouse, Tower Records...GO GET THAT!
((( Audio Interview Below )))