JB Smoove on the change of comedy audiences

By Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith

HollywoodNews.com: The racial and cultural segmentation of audiences that’s been a fact of life for comics on the road is disappearing, according to funny man JB Smoove, whose latest TV gig is hosting “Russell Simmons Presents Stand-Up at The El Rey” on Comedy Central, debuting July 11. He points out, “I go back to the first season of Def Comedy Jam (in 1992). When I started, it was like the turn of black comedy. We had our audience, the white comics had their audience. Now, everybody’s pulling closer together. Shows are more diverse, audiences have changed. You see that everywhere — everything is merging, everyone gets each other now. It’s an amazing place to be as far as music and standup.”

Smoove has several different fan bases – from his turn as potty-mouthed houseguest Leon Black on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” to his “’Til Death” role alongside Brad Garrett, to his ridiculous standup. He loved taping the first set of installments of “Stand-Up at the El Rey” partly because “It’s a great mix. I love these young comics. I have a young energy, an enthusiastic energy, and with these young folks on the show, we just feed off each other with this positive outlook that’s contagious.” He adds, “I think there will be more shows, and I think there will be a tour.” Meanwhile, Smoove has a nonstop string of dates this summer, and he’ll be seen on TBS tonight (6/24) as part of Cedric the Entertainer’s “Urban Circus”

“I’m on linen,” he declares. “I mean, the iron is hot — and linen is the hottest setting you can get.”

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