Though traveling can be a drag, comedian Mike Epps enjoys going to different cities to perform, and tries to tailor his act to where he's playing. "I'm a fool with different places," he confesses. "It depends on what city. I like to dig into the city and find out what's going on and talk about that city, show that city the love that it needs. Then I talk about a lot of stuff on TV." A class clown, Epps says he wasn't particularly disruptive, but chose his moments to be funny. "I grew up with a lot of funny people," he adds. He entered a standup comedy competition, somewhat reluctantly, in his teens. "People always told me I was funny, but I didn't believe them." He won that night and was so encouraged by the response that he decided to move to Atlanta to pursue his newfound passion. He became so successful in Atlanta that a club owner there suggested the young Epps head to New York City, which he did almost immediately. Appearances on HBO's Def Comedy Jam followed. Epps eventually found himself in L.A. While performing at the Comedy Store, he caught the attention of Ice Cube, who then asked him to be in the movie Next Friday. He has been in several films since. Still, he doesn't ever see a time when he isn't doing standup regularly. "I like working on movies a lot," he says, "but doing standup helps me keep it real, keeps me down to earth."
Fri., Oct. 15, 8 p.m., 2010