• Amber Brashear

Early Comedic Influences...

Updated: Apr 30, 2018

I remember like it was yesterday, when I was little, I never wanted to go to bed, what little kid wants sleep #beggin4napsnow. I had two older brothers and they used to stay up late watching all the 80s and 90s comedy and sketch shows. I would sneak out of my room to go to theirs when I thought my dad was passed out in the recliner, to watch whatever program was playing on their TV. At the time, it was always a toss up of In Living Color, Howard Stern, Saturday Night Live and other late night comedy broadcasts they would watch. I'd sneak in, swallow my laughs and pray I didn't get caught!

Thinking back now, my brothers are definitely responsible for introducing me to comedy, between those late night shows and the rentals we got when they were forced to babysit me, I got exposed to great comedians and comedic actors at an early age. My favorite memory was when my brother and I went to Blockbuster, #blastfromthepast, I wanted to rent All Dogs Go To Heaven and my brother rented House Party. We watched my movie first, but by the end I was sobbing and worrying about our dog dying and going to Heaven. In an attempt to cheer me up, my brother promised me that as long as I didn't tell mom and dad, I could stay up and watch House Party with him, I was 7 at the time, but that movie had me in stitches! Just as the movie was ending, my parents pulled into the driveway, I ran into my room and pretended to be fast asleep. The next morning my brother and I were doing the Kidd and Play dance. #memories

Chris Rock's Bigger & Blacker, 1999.... one of my very first stand up specials (VHS)!

As I grew up, I watched Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Jim Carey,Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Chris Farley, Chris Rock, Lucille Ball, Roseanne Barr, and Whoppie Goldberg, to name a few. While my exposure to stand up comedy was limited, my favorite genre of film was comedy, and I didn't miss any of the new movie releases. I caught every episode of the Jamie Foxx Show, Star Search, Showtime at the Apollo, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Family Matters, Saved by the Bell, Martin, and SNL. By the time I was in High School, my favorite comedians were Jamie Foxx, Chris Rock and Adam Sandler. I'll never forget the first time I saw Chris Rock's, Bigger & Blacker, it was the summer before my Jr. year of High School and I saw it with my best friend. I was in tears from laughter, his reflection of social issues at the time, like his view point on gun control, AIDS, and Hilary Clinton were genius and they are still among my favorite comedy bits. I even have the VHS copy still!

My favorite shows and probably the most influential on my comedy taste and styles, were

Def Comedy Jam and Showtime at the Apollo. I remember watching comedians like Affion Crockett, Cory Holcomb, Jamie Foxx and Talent Harris. I never imagined one day I'd be doing what they did for a career and I certainly never imagined I'd be touring the country with someone I idolized as a comedian growing up, Talent Harris. There was such a rawness and realness in the comedy on these shows, especially, Def Comedy Jam. I admired the boldness it took to say some of the things that were being said and how there was NO FEAR on that stage just strait up funny!

Hands down though, my biggest influence has been Jamie Foxx! I remember when he hosted Def Comedy Jam, and his joke You Make Me So Comfortable, I remember thinking, I KNOW this happens to him for real! I loved watching his physicality and the way he used characters brought this jokes to life. To this day, he's my entertainer idol. In my eyes, theres no one like Jamie or that can compare to his level of talent in the industry. He can single handedly have a career in JUST comedy, JUST music, JUST acting, JUST producing, JUST directing, JUST doing radio or LITERALLY ANYTHING he wants within the entertainment business and yet he's managed to conquer damn near every entertainment outlet as one of the top in the industry. Who else is doing that?!?

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