Actor and comedian Deon Cole sits down this weekend with TV One’s Uncensored to discuss the highs and lows of his career.
Cole, 50, shared in a clip that he was bitten by the comedy bug at around age 21, while watching an episode of Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam.
On a dare, the Chicago native went to open mic night at a local comedy club
hoping to get a break.
Comedians Adele Givens and George Willborn were hosting. Unfortunately, Cole said he wasn’t allowed to perform because every slot was taken. He went back twice, and on his third try — he got a shot.
“The third week, I saw Adele Givens and I was like, ‘I came down here three weeks, is there any way I can go on? She was like, ‘What’s your name?’ She said, ‘I’ll put you on,'” Cole recalled. “I went on and it was lights out.”
Cole admitted the audience reception was lukewarm. Still, it was a big moment in his life.
“You now how two people stand up, and you’re like, ‘I got a standing o!’ … that was the night that I knew my life changed,” he said.
.@deoncole recounts the first time he ever did stand-up comedy, changing his life forever! ?? Don't miss him telling his story in his own words on an all-new #Uncensored this Sunday, Nov. 6th at 10/9c only on @tvonetv. pic.twitter.com/HBvsxx96Dj
— TV One (@tvonetv) November 5, 2022
Cole later landed slots on Def Comedy Jam and Wild ‘n Out. He eventually became a writer on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and Conan, earning two nominations for Primetime Emmy Awards.
In another clip, he said making the transition from working with Conan O’Brien to booking a role on family sitcom Black-ish was a culture shock.
“It was intimidating. I mean, I just left the whitest man in America… and to leave there and to go to Black-ish. I went over there and it was Black, but like sophisticated Black,” he said. “I was just honored to be a part of it.
Uncensored: Deon Cole airs Sunday, Nov. 6 at 10/9C on TV One.
Just before the episode , TV One will air a new installment of music series Unsung about S.O.L.A.R. Records and its owner Dick Griffey, who helped shape the sound of 1970s R&B.
Friends, family and fellow artists celebrate the legacy of the label that came to define what S.O.L.A.R. stood for — the “Sound Of Los Angeles Records.”
Unsung leads the night with S.O.L.A.R. Records at 9 p.m. ET/8C on TV One.