The other day, while scrolling through @HBCUBuzz’s mentions on Twitter, I stumbled upon a tweet showing a flyer on the upcoming HBCU Kangs of Comedy Tour at Virginia State University’s Homecoming later this year. I immediately hit up friend B Daht on Twitter via DM, asking if this is actually happening and if and when are more event and tour dates for the quartet of HBCU comedians, of course. “You are correct,” he told me via email. “VSU is October 21st for their homecoming and we are super excited. Homecomings are always an awesome experience for us,” he said, “seeing as we all graduated from an HBCU: Chico Bean and I both graduated from Winston-Salem State University, and Darren Brand and Drankins are North Carolina A&T State University grads. It is a time when we get to reminisce and “take it all in.””
Check out our entire interview on performing sketch comedy with Wild ‘N Out, advice to young HBCU comics and more below.
What is it like to be on a platform like Wild ‘N Out? Wild ‘N Out has been a tremendous platform for our movement for a couple reasons. Being on set for Wild ‘N Out for 6 weeks a year shows how much work it takes to produce a product that can have a tenure and run like Wild ‘N Out; this is season number 8. Wild ‘N Out taught us a different level of planning and attitude to the comedy and for that, we thank Nick Cannon and all of those behind the scenes that make that show a success. It has also been a blessing for the obvious: face recognition. All of our followers have increased on social media and beyond as a direct result of having captivating moments the last four years with Wild ‘N Out on MTV2. The show moves to MTV August 4th, and we are optimistic that it can only go higher.
- B Daht (FFCS Founder/Comic – Host of 3 Live Crew morning show on 102JAMZ)
- Chico Bean (Comic: WNO, UnCommon Sense)
- Drankins (Comic: 3 Live Crew Morning show on 102JAMZ)
- Darren “Big Baby” Brand (Comic: WNO, Joking Off)
- Alton “5ifty” Mills (co-Founder, Producer/comic)
- Charles Noel (FFCS Manager)
What advice would you give to those attending black colleges who wants to do comedy? Anyone attending black colleges that want to do stand-up: host everything! All four comics of FFCS started as Hosts. B Daht was hosting events at WSSU when Chico Bean came in as a freshman. B Daht was the Gameday PA announcer for football and basketball games on campus. When he graduated, the torch was passed to Bean. Drankins was hosting the events at NCAT when Big Baby came in; when he graduated, he passed the torch to Brand. We never knew what skills we were strengthening: crowd control, wittiness, voice control, and organizing material/show flow. All of our very first big stages were at an HBCU. And you know how “we” are at an HBCU. We are ready to boo somebody, so when you can control a room full of HBCU students, you are well on your way. You have to step outside your comfort zone and do stand-up. Away from campus. Where you do not have the safety of “everyone being in on the joke because we all go to school here.” You have to perform for strangers. Campus events = the gym. You work out material. Work on crowd control. Work on working that stage, and then you take that show on the road to get real feedback.
What can we expect this year from The HBCU Comedy Tour, and why is it important? You can expect 90-minutes of hilarity and not two shows ever being the same show. That is what makes it the FREESTYLE Funny Comedy Show. The improve games, between sets, makes each show tailor-made to the school. We would not do the same show at VSU that we would do at UNC-Pembroke. Two different worlds yet the common ground of “the collegiate experience” is what glues it all together. It is important, because it is homegrown. You are actually hopping on the train as its leaving the station when you attend a FFCS. Four guys from nothing. An HBCU took a chance and gave us scholarships or loan monies we will be paying back forever and for that, we have an obligation. We have an obligation to show others from HBCUs that no matter the size of your school, or the respect it gets in comparison to PWIs and from the Wendy Williams‘ of the world, we are great! We are strong! Our schools were built from strength, power, endurance, and we try to express that in every show.
Hope you get to catch us in your city! TheFFCS.com has dates. Tell your SGA about us and we look forward to entertaining you!
Check out the confirmed dates of The HBCU Kangs of Comedy Tour below.
20th—Jacksonville State University
2nd: Charlotte, NC
17th: State University of New York—NYC
19th: UNC Pembroke—Pembroke NC
21st: Virginia State University—Richmond, VA
19th: Townson University—Baltimore, Maryland