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Chris Redd Q&A
American Saturday Night Live Star Chris Redd is ready to make his London Stand Up Debut! We chatted to him ahead of his shows at the Soho Theatre
Buy Tickets to see Chris Redd at Soho Theatre (June 10 to 15)
Thank you for speaking with us Chris! Our traditional first question, where in the States are you from?
No problem! Ok, I was born in St. Louis, MO. Grew up in Chicago/Chicagoland area and my family is from Jackson and Koscuisko, Mississippi. All those places had a huge influence on who I am so I'm dedicated to saying all of them in that question because I'm complicated. haha
You're making your UK debut this Summer at the Soho Theatre in London - how does it feel to be appearing on a UK stage?
I'm really excited for it. I've heard great things about the UK comedy scene when I performed in Dublin for the comedy festival there and in Melbourne comedy festival. UK story telling joke writing is tight and as a story teller myself, it'll be cool to see how jokes play in the theater. Also, I want to find some good food.
How did you first get into comedy?
I first got into comedy by failing at everything else and only having this option left. The interest began when I would listen to my dad's Richard Pryor CD's and try to be funny at school because I was socially awkward for a bit growing up and comedy was my go-to way to express myself.
What kinds of subjects and topics give you inspiration for your work?
Really anything I go through in life at any moment can spark something. My family is dynamic and interesting, the world is going to s**t, America is a wild place so it isn't too hard to find something to pull from. Interesting moments, people, situations and my own wild imagination are all a part of the broken madness that is me. This was all said with a smile. haha
Earlier this year Exclaim.ca described you as an "inspiringly positive comic" - how would you describe your style?
That was a very nice description. I think I'm a lot darker in my mind and even some material than that description suggests but I love putting positive energy out there. I like telling stories and telling jokes so the stories should always have both. I don't know what style that is, but I love to improvise, story tell, do characters, tell jokes. So, whatever that is called. Comedy? [laughs]
A lot of people will recognize you from Saturday Night Live - what's it like to be a part of such an iconic American show?
At times very surreal that it's happening. I mean, only 19 black comics in its history have made it on that show (so far) so that's an even more incredible thing to be a part of. Performing sketch comedy on that level and with the level of talent around me from cast to writers is, and always has been, one of the greatest experiences of my career. I'm just getting started, though. So, it's like having a new job that everybody gets to be in on. For the good and the bad.
Do you have a favorite character to impersonate for SNL?
Kanye is my favorite. One of my favorite artists and impressions. I also really like Sterling K Brown. I've finally found a way to do that impression I'm having a lot of fun with.
Do you prefer stand up or impressions, or a mix of both?
Stand up for life! I've honestly just started getting into true celebrity impressions. I wouldn't even call myself an impressionist like that. I love characters for sure and usually do impressions of people you haven't met or family, but being on the show has made me start to really work harder at those and find the fun in it more for me. Stand up I'll do forever and unless a bit is written specifically in use of an impression in the most creative way, you won't see me doing impressions in my stand up. I have plenty of jokes and characters I want to talk about that mean more to me. I leave that to the guys that really do impressions. haha
We've seen what a famous politician can do for a career on SNL (Alec Baldwin!) - are you keeping an eye on Cory Booker's Presidential Run?
Yeah, but more because I'm interested to see how Cory handles everything. You never know what will make you successful on the show so I just keep my eye on everything I can and just have fun creating. That thought is a natural one, though.
What can visitors to your London shows expect?
To have fun! Jokes, stories, characters, maybe I'll ask y'all something. Maybe I won't. I might just be discovering what's going to happen right with all of them.
Do you have any plans whilst you're in the UK for your shows?
I would like to see the city of London, and maybe take a couple trips after since I'm on this side of the world. Random but, I really want to go back to Budapest and hang out. I have a lot of Googling to do for my to do list before I get there so .... my plans will change and get better hopefully.
Do you have any upcoming projects you're working on?
Chris Redd - But Here We Are is my album and I'm working on new material for the next project so go get that album and keep up! I have a horror comedy movie coming out called Deep Murder and that's a fun one. Other projects I am working on I can't really say yet but expect more from me soon!
Finally, what's the best thing about being Chris Redd?
Living out some of my dreams in reality and realizing all that time struggling to chase this thing....I was RIGHT. haha
Chris Redd makes his UK Stand Up Debut at Soho Theatre, London, from June 10 to June 15. Tickets from £15.