Wyatt Cenac is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and writer. He is a former correspondent and writer on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, airing his last segment on December 13, 2012.
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Thanks to everybody for taking part in this AMA. It was fun, but I've got to go walk the dust mites.
The first episode of Night Train is available for free right now on YouTube.
Feel free to check it out and thanks again for spending a few hours helping me practice my typing skills.
Night Train Episode 1: https://youtu.be/rmhK4CXIMDo
How often do you watch the Daily Show?
Not that much. I stopped watching when I left. It's sort of like when an athlete quits their sport; it's weird to keep watching it.
This is the problem with so many porn flicks. You ordered a fucking pizza, but did you eat the fucking pizza? Nope. Went straight for the sausage and never turned back. It's insulting to the audience, really.
Exactly. That's why most people usually fall asleep after about five minutes.
Hey Wyatt, what are your thoughts on the Hall/Larsson and Subban/Weber trades?
I know those are "hockey words," but little else.
What was the writer's room like on King of the Hill? Any insights on Mike Judge's approach to writing? That show is a classic, so hilarious and so much heart.
The KOTH writers room was very laid back. I learned a lot there and got to work with a lot of talented writers who are now on shows like Bob's Burgers and Maron. By the time I got to the show Mike was living in Austin, so we would connect with him during writers' retreats and when we recorded his episodes.
Do you sit at the famous comic's table at the Comedy Cellar? Do you remember your first time at it? Who was sitting there?
I've sat at the table a bunch but I don't recall who was there the first time. It was probably Neal Brennan and Estee was there because Neal was telling her to put me up.
Could you go into more detail into what you learned?
What skills did you hone or what misunderstandings were corrected through that experience?
Story was a huge lesson. How to tell a story with a clear through line. The show runners (John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky) used to talk a lot about "drive." What drives a character from the beginning of the episode and making sure you write true to that drive.
If Hank wants to teach Bobby a lesson in act one, make sure that all of his actions for the rest of the episode are motivated by that drive to teach Bobby. It might be funny for Hank to wind up in jail, but was it justified in what his original drive was? Can you look at the end of the episode and say that all of your characters ended up where they were initially trying to get to? And if they didn't did you explore why not either as a writer or on the page in their character development?
That make sense? I'm typing faster than I'm used to.
Do you still not understand the appeal of Medieval Times?
Nope. Haven't gone back. Kind of scared to given all the shit I talked. Kind of worried a knight might try to take me out.
Did you spend a lot of time with Patrice O'Neal? What were your impressions of him and his work?
I only got to meet Patrice once at a club in NY called Comix. We were in the green room and so was Paul Mooney. I remember thinking Patrice was effortlessly both the coolest and funniest guy in that room and he barely said anything. He was nice to me in that one meeting. I wish I'd known him more. Whenever I see Big Jay Oakerson, I try to see if he'll tell Patrice stories.
i had black-tor (black-actor) friends in LA and they had limited roles and had to grind. but, now i see a trend on youtube where niche gaps are being filled (and have millions of subscribers)...for instance, some of the top vloggers are superwoman (sikh), fouseytube (arab), adam saleh (muslim), KSI & comedyshortsgamer (nigerian/black), etc...
this shows that there is a huge market and huge demand for these groups, but hollywood will never invest. this is why youtube is so great and probably a factor why internet media is creeping up on mainstream TV...because there are so many fans that dont connect to mainstream media stars.
its nice to see that it doesnt take a huge network to make a name for yourself in the entertainment industry as long as you have a great idea - it doesnt matter who you are but how you execute.
Very true, but at the end of the day people want to eat and not have to struggle to get the next thing made. The internet has been good for opening up the landscape, but at the end of the day being able to continually make things and be fairly compensated is key. If a YouTube video gets more views than a network sitcom, but the creators make less it doesn't just feel unfair in that moment; it makes making the second and third project or developing for other people that much harder.
Hi Wyatt! Is your new album going to be released on vinyl? Also, any plans on touring through South Carolina again? I've seen you in Charleston twice and you were amazing both times.
It will be coming out on vinyl. We are finishing up the work for that now. Hopefully in the fall. As far as going back to Charleston... I'd like to. Not sure when. I'm shooting something in Toronto for the next three months.
Who did you most enjoy interviewing for your various projects, and who did you most enjoy being interviewed by during your career?
Conan is my favorite interviewer. Doing his show it feels like anything goes. My first time on the show, Tenacious D were the musical guest and he told me not to let them sit down. I thought he was joking at first but then I realized he wanted me to. That freedom is what I always thought late night shows would be like. Where it's a bit of a circus onstage, there are people in costumes wandering backstage and he's the ringmaster keeping it all from falling apart.
As far as who I have interviewed... it wasn't an interview but I got to be on a panel once with Richard Pryor's wife Jenny and it was very cool to talk with her and hear her tell stories about her life with and without Richard Pryor.
hey wyatt! what should i eat for dinner?
Have a sandwich. Sure it's a lunch food, but don't adhere to the traditional norms.
What kind of changes in the entertainment industry are necessary to ensure more people of color are in positions of creative control?
How can consumers help foster those changes?
I think it starts from the ground level. It's making sure there is equal access to jobs for all people. There are a lot of direct lines to entertainment jobs that are well established that exclude a lot of people. It's making sure that people can get in and can get promoted through the system. That's a culture that has to be created.
As far as for a consumer, I think social media can be a powerful tool in that. When shows or movies are announced, it doesn't take much to tweet at networks or studios and ask them to be more inclusive in their hiring practices. If enough people hold them accountable they might feel compelled to try.
What traits make a 'comic's comic'? Who is yours?
I'm not sure. I feel like people often say it's a comedian who may not have broad appeal, but makes comedians laugh because they are so technically sound but also moving in a way that they don't outwardly seem to care about fame.
DC Benny is somebody that comes to mind as a Comic's Comic. he just grinds it out and can always read a crowd and make them laugh and if it doesn't work he doesn't seem to care.
If you ever used to get nervous before doing standup, does hosting a show regularly help get rid of that?
Hosting a show is a different muscle to just doing a regular set, so it doesn't really help with nerves. There are definitely shows where I still get nervous or I feel pressure. I think in those moments, I always remember the moment I step in front of the mic to just take a breath. There's no rush. If that doesn't work then a shot of whiskey.
Thanks for this answer & doing this AMA!
Thanks for participating
What percentage of your interviews do race or racial politics get brought up? What percentage do you wish it was?
A lot of them. It's weird because it probably doesn't get asked as much of other people, but at the same time if it helps create a dialogue beyond me then I can't knock it. Race is still such a huge issue under the surface in our society, so if talking about it helps us to understand why that particular signifier affects so much human judgement in our society than maybe it's a good thing.
Josh Lawson filed a restraining order against me.
Are you a die hard Knicks fan, what's your opinion on NBA fans that jump ship when their favorite players switch teams?
I've got no problem with ship jumping. Players do it; why can't fans? The days of a player staying with a team their whole career seems to be over. You can still rally for a city, but that culture is much more fleeting than it used to be.
You were on Kanye West's show? Can you type a few paragraphs about that experience? Was it any different than shooting a typical comedy show?
It was directed by Larry Charles who also directed Curb Your Enthusiasm, so the process was similar to that. We had an outline and then we were allowed to improvise off of that.
Early on, JB Smoove and I found a good dynamic improvising off of each other. And since it is improv you're sort of trying to make Larry and the crew laugh. There's a sort of onset looseness because of that but also because of the way we shot in that the cameras were more willing to follow you, so there weren't traditional marks and blocking that you had to do. You could kind of go anywhere and do anything.
under what circumstances would you vote for trump?
Maybe if he were running to be a D&D game master. Given his ability to fear monger, he might create a pretty intense and dangerous campaign.
What do you think about getting Derrick Rose? Can he stay healthy for more than five minutes?
Not sure how I feel. He's talented but he also needs the ball on a team where a lot of people need the ball. Will he be able to shift gears and become more of a distributor? If so, he could be a good fit and maybe stay a bit healthier.
damn, not even for quinceñeras tho?
Okay fine. Any ceremony celebrating the frightening change from teenager to adulthood.
I'm excited for it. Brooklyn felt really honest and personal. It's one of my favorite specials. Also, are you in the new Bojack season? It was nice hearing you pop up in a couple of episodes before.
Not in the new season of BoJack. I don't know if they just quietly killed off my character or perhaps I can make a triumphant return with some all new Buzzfeed quizzes.
What is your favorite eating establishment in all of NYC?
Rye in Williamsburg Brooklyn makes my favorite steak.
When you wrote a KotH script, did you do imitations of characters like Boomhauer or Dale to get the funniest lines and accurate voice?
In the writers room everybody would pitch jokes in the characters voices. Pretty much everybody could do a Hank "BWAAAA"
The original Independence Day is my one my all time favs, so I'm committed to seeing if the sequel does it any justice.
Anything you've seen lately that's blown you away?
I've not heard good things. A friend of mine went to see it last weekend and the theater shut down at a climactic moment. They kicked everybody out of theater and he seemed to think it was the movie's way of saying "you don't really want to watch this."
In your opinion, what is the best episode of King of the Hill?
Norm Hiscock's episode "Bobby Goes Nuts" is pretty great. Dean Young's "New Cowboy on the Block" holds a personal connection to me because it was the first episode I worked on when I started at the show.
What interviews can you recall where you were asked an insightful question about race in entertainment?
What writers/comedians do you think explore racial issues well?
As far as interviews, I can't recall one off the top of my head. I had a nice conversation a few months back with Rember Browne for NY Mag that was good.
As far as comedians who explore race, I know that last year at the Montreal Comedy Fest Kurt Braunohler was doing a show that was a very funny and smart look at his privilege as a straight white guy.
I was recently at an Open Mic in a coffee shop where the cops were called. What is the craziest thing you have seen when you were somewhere to perform?
I did a show at SXSW and Jessica Alba was in the audience and almost got into a fight with another audience member. At first I thought it was just two loud ladies and then I realized one of them was Mrs. Fantastic.
What advice would you have for someone dreaming of writing for desk shows?
I would say study the shows that you like. Find the patterns that they have and see if you can't write in that style.
The hardest part is obviously breaking in, which often times you need to be in either NY or LA to try and get noticed. Going to places like UCB or iO and taking classes is a good way to start meeting and working with people who also work in those worlds. Spending time at those places can help a person get their foot in the door.
Thanks man. Keep doing what you're doing - whenever I see/hear your name I pay attention.
I appreciate that. And thanks for taking part in this AMA
What does the format of Night Train look like?
The SeeSo version of the show has four comics with an interview or sketch-like thing in between.
The first episode is up on YouTube right now: https://youtu.be/rmhK4CXIMDo
The live show is a bit looser. We have about five to seven comedians and we might do a sketch or have an interview every now and again but not always at every show.
in regards to King of the Hill, what was the general rule in using Peggy as a really horrible person? There are some moments where she's so over her head in arrogance like the accidentally taking a child out of mexico but other times she's actually one of the more reasonable people being the only one who sees Luanne's mother for what she is. You want to punch her in the face most of the time though.
I think a lot of the treatment of Peggy was dependent on the show runner. I was only there when Altshuler and Krinsky and I remember conversations about wanting to make Peggy more likeable and more human because in previous seasons she had been kind of mean and sometimes a bit too crazy.
Hank is a pretty grounded character so just from a logic stand point it makes sense to ground her character a bit.
If you look at who is in the Exec Producer (show runner) credit on the show, you can see a pattern of how that show runner used Peggy and all of the characters.
Do you have any pets? tell us about them
No pets. Just a lot of dust mites.
You were on the original Yacht Rock? Can you give us a little typed oral history of the shoot?
I did one episode of Yacht Rock. When I was in LA Channel 101 had a bit of a legend behind it. I never had the means to make anything myself, but often thought about it. Yacht Rock and the Bu were shows that were huge among people in LA comedy circles. When I got asked to do Yacht Rock, it felt like "I'd made it" to some degree even though it wasn't paid and I maybe got lunch.
hard shell or soft shell tacos?
soft shell. i got old teeth.
haha dude u made my day...im gonna make a panini!
I said sandwich! I do not recognize a panini as a sandwich. Bread should be toasted but never pressed.
How does it feel to deliver the only good performance in Growing Up and Other Lies?
That's way too kind to me. And I assume you ask same question of all of the actors in the film.
Bojack, KOTH, Bob's Burgers, Rick and Morty, and others seem to be written with way more emotional depth and much more clever concepts than live action series, or am I wrong? You have a good perspective on both, what is it about the creative process on animations that allows that to happen?
I think animation puts the focus on character. Writing for animation, you direct the voice actors and the world is being built without you. You're spending your time trying to pull performances out of people in a booth, so maybe you spend a bit more time trying to give those actors roles more depth and care.
Wyatt. You've worked with some talented designers to come up with some sweet posters and album art in the past. Do you have a favourite designer that you've worked with? Or at least a favourite piece of collateral that's been churned out with your name/face/etc plastered all over it?
I have worked with some good folks for all of my albums. John Vogl, Jessica Hische, Rachel Cellinese and Aaron Sechrist were all great. It's hard to pick one favorite. Aaron is doing work now for my vinyl album and it's really been fun to see what he comes up with.
As far as merch, the TBS show that I got cast in makes us sign a contract that has a clause that says our faces might appear on a slot machine. While I hope people watch the show, I hope it doesn't get popular enough to warrant a slot machine.
Is the Toronto shoot going to interfere at all with the Night Train schedule? I was thinking of heading up from DC one Monday this summer to come see it live. I really wanted to come this past Monday. Dope lineup.
Night Train will still happen every week. There will be guest hosts and on the Mondays that I can sneak back I will pop in.
In the past we've had Sasheer Zamata, Seaton Smith and David Cross all host in my absence, so the shows should still be a lot of fun while I am gone.
Any upcoming films you're excited for?
Not sure. I haven't really been keeping up with new movies outside of what I see on subway posters.
What are your thoughts on those who believe that the hot dogs is a sandwich?
As long as it isn't paninied it can be a sandwich should it so choose.
What do you think of Toronto in the summertime? Is it tough to get across the border to do stand-up? Since it is a very cheap, short flight from NYC it could be a great place to workshop for NY comics but it's still only a few times a year we get the small/medium sized shows. Most of what we get from the USA are the big $100+ theater shows.
I haven't made it up to Toronto this summer yet. It is surprisingly challenging to get to Canada for stand up. You have to get a work visa just to do a weekend of gigs. You get interviewed and they have to look everything up. It's odd given how close Toronto is to NY, it feels like it would be a little easier.
What would you say if you had the entire world's attention for 5 seconds?
Watch Samurai Champloo... and also maybe don't vote for Trump.
Based on interviews I read after you left TDS, I get the impression you and Jon Stewart didn't have the best relationship. Is that a correct assertion?
I spoke about it on Marc Maron's WTF podcast. Like all working relationships there were good moments and bad moments. I am forever grateful to Jon and learned a ton from him.
On the podcast, I spoke about a particular experience at the job, which then got picked up by other media outlets and some tried to fairly represent what I was talking about which had more to do with inclusiveness in the workplace, while others cherry picked it to fit a narrative.
Not sure what you saw/heard but I'd say listen to the podcast and hopefully you'll hear the larger point that I was talking about.
Hey Wyatt, I met you at The Stand a while back, I sat next to you at the bar but I tried to leave you in peace.. you were eating a tuna Caesar salad I believe.. are you still rocking the Tuna Caesar? Your set was great that night too :)
Thanks. It was the Ahi Tuna Salad. It was good. I'd eat it again, if offered in exchange for jokes.
Who are 3-5 comedians you would recommend right now?
If I can shamelessly plug my SeeSo series, I'd say that there are more than 3-5 on there worth checking out. Janelle James, Matteo Lane, Natasha Muse, Michelle Wolf and Clark Jones are all great.
Outside of that shameless plug: Beth Stelling is great. Michael Che is very funny. We just had Casey Ley on the live Night Train show... which just became a second inadvertent but shameless plug
how do you write your bits?
It depends. Sometimes I have an idea and I write it down immediately. Other times I sit with it for a while and months can go by and then I'll try to write it down. I hand write most stuff so I can remember it. Then I'll take it onstage and try to polish it into shape. If I'm preparing for something like a TV spot, I'll do a bunch of sets a night to really work on it.
Sadako vs Kayako
I'm not a big horror fan. There are Tom and Jerry episodes that still give me the creeps.
I remember one of the best parts in Chappelle's block party was his saying how linked comedians and musicians are. How a lot of comedians play music and a lot of musicians are funny. Can you play or sing, or do you go to a lot of concerts living in NY? Who are some of your favorite artists currently?
I wish that I could play an instrument. I've tried to pick up some. I'll play around with Pro Tools making beats for fun. That's about as close to a musician as I get.
I used to go to more concerts. I don't get to as many as I used to. I've played a bunch of music festivals, which may have burnt me out a bit on live music.
Do you like Watanabe's work in general or just Champloo?
I'll be honest. I only watched Samurai Champloo. I think the music played such an integral role in that show and made it stand out for me in a very interesting and cool way.
Have you had any up-and-coming comedians on your show lately whose jokes have really killed you?
Gina Yashere just did the show a few weeks ago and she was great.
When can we buy sneakers with your face on them?
I'm trying to get the adidas shoe deal. I need that Andrew Luck money.
I saw you on Garbage Time last night. How much longer can you go making jokes at Carmelo?
Until he decides to make me CEO of his company.
Oh, thanks! Listening now..
No bad blood, but feel free to listen to the podcast episode.
What sometimes gets lost in the story but was said in that episode is that while we had a disagreement, we had resolved it before I went on the podcast.
What I was talking about was something that he and I had already spoken about with one another. That moment was less about bad blood as it was about respect and expectations in the workplace.
Hey Wyatt you fit right in on comedy bang bang podcast. Also enjoyed your mascot work in Open Mike Eagle's Dark Comedy Morning show.
I plan on giving your show the shot that bajillion dollar properties has yet to receive. I slept, my bad.
Anyways, my question is:
"Can't we all just get along?" - Rodney King
Technically his question but I'm curious also as well.
One would hope we could all get along. Watch Bajillion Dollar Properties too. Kulap is a friend, so I want her show to do well... which I think fits the idea of everybody getting along.
I just signed up for SeeSo through Amazon last week.
So far I love the stand up shows on there.
Looking forward to your series as well!
discovered Furry Dumb Fighter last week and then re listened to all your albums and had a great time. Your delivery sounds vaguely like Hedberg's is that a coincidence?
Thanks. Any similarities are unintentional. Hedberg was great but I also feel like he and I are very different styles of joke tellers. I am envious of his ability to make great one liners. Every now and then I have a one-liner that works well and I think about how many great ones Hedberg had and that makes me want to get back to work.
Hey Wyatt, I really dig your comedy POV and delivery.
1-In your experience, can you teach someone to be funny, or are people just born funny?
2-Why does "really smart and driven" translate to comedy writing? I am trying to understand the ivy league pedigrees of writing rooms we often hear about.
3-What would you be doing if you couldn't do comedy? What did you want to be when you grew up?
1.) I think being funny as natural but it can also be taught. Little kids don't know humor, but they sometimes do a thing that makes adults laugh and if they like the feeling they try to duplicate it. They see if there is a formula that elicits laughter. The same is true for anybody trying to be funny.
2.) Ivy League and Smart and Driven aren't hand in hand. There are a lot of talented people who went to ivy league schools that now work in TV, but also because of that they have created a pipeline that serves a bit of a nepotistic purpose that can help others (some talented and some not) succeed. Whether you went to an Ivy or not there's a certain amount of determination one needs in TV because there are so many people fighting for so few jobs.
3.) If I couldn't do comedy, maybe I'd be an architect or something where I could build things. That or cat burglar.
You should check out Cowboy Bebop as well. Yoko Kanno did some serious work on the OST, and if you're into film nouveau, you can appreciate it on another level.
Thanks. I should. I feel like that is one show that I hear a lot of people talk about that I never sat down and watched. I would see ads on [adult swim] all the time, but just never got around to it.
So I take it you were never a Mavs fan or a fan of any other Texas team?
Not really. I did like the old green uniform Mavs and went to Rolondo Blackmon's basketball camp as a kid, so I would cheer a bit for him, Aguirre and Brad Davis. But I never really cheered that hard.
I don't mind if the Cowboys go 8-8, but I only want them good enough that it's a competitive game against the Eagles.
why are you black?
And this is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the laughs and dining recommendations.
Also Talde is great. And you can never go wrong with the pork buns at Momofuku.
Was that you I passed walking up Court Street around 11 at night two weeks ago?
If I was playing a flute and being followed by a bunch of rats... then yes.
Hey, Wyatt. It's Scott, the guy that played the bald baby in your Netflix special. What's shaking?
How are you Scott? It's been a while. You were a great baby but also a great guy on two different sets I've worked on.
Were you really awful when you started? Im just trying to see where Im at been doing stand up for 3 weeks.
My first set, I got scared and burned through my jokes in one minute and ran off the stage. I still have the audio somewhere. Maybe I will post it to my website one of these days.
3 weeks in is nerve wracking, but as you do it more and you also get to hang out with other comics, hopefully you'll enjoy it and that will push you to keep doing it and getting better.
I introduced my mom to How Did This Get Made(a podcast) today with the Super Mario Bros episode and Demolition Man. How was that podcast? Do you remember the movie? Episode in reference on official site
Is there a podcast or show you'd love to do? Do you have a regular one you're involved in?
That was a fun episode. I really enjoyed it and watching that movie and learning about the three shells.
I've been fortunate to do a few fun podcasts. Another Round was a lot of fun. The Champs and WTF were both very cool. I did Dan Pashman's The Sporkful once and had a great time talking with him and we even asked the table next to us to join in the show.
Is Trevor Noah a Clinton shill?
For George Clinton.
He's a big P-Funk fan.
I assume that's what you meant.
Maybe Architect Burglar, wherein you steal pieces critical to structure, like the keystone or something.
I could build my secret escape routes into the plans. Nobody would be the wiser... except for you because now you know. That makes you an alibi. If I get pinched, so do you!
Can you please make another appearance on the Flophouse podcast? I really enjoyed the episode you guested on.
I will try. Last time I had to bribe Elliott with sandwiches.
Now that I know about the Three Seashells, I use them in my daily bathroom.
Thanks, I'll check those other shows out. You probably won't see this reply to your reply but you did an episode, maybe with Marc Maron, wherein you talked about how it was on the Daily Show, where you had it out with Jon Stewart and it really hit you hard because you had unintentionally set him up as a father figure in your life and you had to leave and clear your head.
That episode, that moment, really hit me hard because I grew up Sans Pops and I've inadvertenly done the same thing, put people in that role regardless of if either one of us wanted that. Just wanted to mention that.
Anywayay, thnks for the reply.
Thanks. And thanks for sharing. It's an odd thing doing a job and also being human. Everybody has their own psychology they carry into a job or any relationship and how we all communicate with each other and be aware of those things in ourselves is a delicate dance.
Thanks for taking part in the AMA
You are absolutely my favorite standup comedian. Any advice for an amateur standup?
Thanks. That's really nice of you to say.
As far as advice, I would say keep getting up onstage. That's both the easiest and hardest thing to do. When a show sucks it feels like you don't want to get back up there, but you should. When it's great you feel like you'll never top it, but you should still get back up. The more you get onstage the more comfortable you become and the more your voice starts to emerge.
Just wanted to pop in and say you were by far one of my favourite correspondents on The Daily Show. Thank you for the laughs. With that sappy stuff out of the way what is your favourite book?
I don't know if I have a favorite book but I just read Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff and loved it.
What was it like working with Jon Stewart?
It was a huge learning experience. To put on a show four nights a week, from the ground up was a fun challenge. He is a very talented editor in the studio. If I tried to learn anything from the show it was seeing a take and learning how to trim the fat from it and find the balance of how to make something funny and informative. It is something I have tried to take with me in each of the stand up albums I've made.
Love you on Doug Loves Movies! What's been your favorite part of doing the podcast?
Hanging out with Doug. I used to watch him all the time when I was coming up as a comic in LA, so to get to do the podcast and take turns making each other laugh is fun.
I've been doing pretty well. How's Night Train going? Got anything new in the works?
Night Train is good. You should stop by one Monday if you're free. But don't dress like a baby.
Definitely looks fascinating! Added to the reading list. Thanks for the AmA :) Best of luck in the future.
Thank you. Enjoy the book if you read it.
Do you or did you ever live in Prospect Heights Brooklyn? Pretty sure you lived a block from me...either that or I've weirdly stared at some random dude trying to figure out if he was you on a few occasions. If that's the case, sorry random dude that looks like Wyatt Cenac.
I've been in Prospect Heights but I also keep an army of look-alikes similar to what Marvin Gaye would do at his concerts.
dude ur missing out!
hard shell for birthdays and bar mitzvahs
Didn't you used to be funny? I mean, a long time ago?
Nope. You've mistaken me for Gil Scott Heron.