He's been synonymous with Conan O'Brien since his brief Tonight Show run back in 2009, and has been a writer and performer on Conan since its inception, becoming one of the show's only breakout stars that isn't a puppet. Last year, he made the leap from supporting player to host with his own show on TBS, Deon Cole's Black Box, while finding his way into numerous TV and movie parts.
Whether he's talking about politics, sports, or the lack of diversity on The Bachelor, Cole's observations and fearlessness have made him one of the funniest comedians in the country for the past two decades.
Before he visits Rick Bronson's House of Comedy this Thursday through Sunday, we talked with Deon about Black Box, Googling himself, and being a liar.
[jump] When was the last time you were in Minnesota?
It's been a long time. I'm from Chicago so I'm pretty close to Minnesota, but I probably haven't been there in at least 10 years.
Most people probably know you from Conan, but what else have you been working on outside of the show?
I was doing Black Box; I've been touring, getting together some material for a new one-hour special; just got done shooting a pilot for a show called Tribeca for TBS that Steve and Nancy Carell wrote. Oh, and I'm working on a book too. Lot's of stuff.
Speaking of Black Box, is it ever coming back?
It's on the back burner right now. It's not canceled. Black Box was something I was doing with [TBS] as a smaller project. We were only going to do six episodes, and that's what we did. The ratings were great; it's not like people weren't watching. We just got to a point once we were done with those first six episodes that I wanted to go in a different direction with it than the network, and so we just put it on the back burner for a bit. You'll definitely see it again at some point, but probably in a different version than it was in those first six episodes.
Do you know what Google autofill comes up with if you type in your name? "Deon Cole Weight Loss" and "Deon Cole Net Worth." Are people always asking you how much you weigh and how much money you make?
That's crazy! I haven't Googled myself in a long time. I'm going to have to go home and do that.
A few weeks ago, you went on Twitter and asked your followers to give you one thing that black people do well, and one thing that white people do well. How'd that turn out?
Not so good. I was working on this joke, and I couldn't think of anything, so I tweeted and asked people to give me their ideas. I probably shouldn't have done that; people are crazy.
I need every1's help, name somethin white people r good at? Then name somethin Blk people r good at? (I feel like this is about 2 go wrong)
At least now you know that both white people and black people are really good at being racist on the internet.
That's for sure.
Are you excited to be in Minnesota this weekend?
Definitely. I've played this club before; it's a great club. I love it there.
Wait a second; at the start of this interview you said you hadn't been here in 10 years. Now you're saying you've been to House of Comedy and you love it. What gives?
Oh shit! You're right. Okay that's my fault. I was only thinking about coming to Minnesota to hang out. I have done that club before. That's my bad. I didn't mean to lie to you.
IF YOU GO:
Rick Bronson's House of Comedy
7:30 p.m. Thursday; 7:30 & 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 & 9:30 p.m. Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday.
More details here