I had the privilege to sit down recently over breakfast and chat with the up-n-coming comedian, “Mel-Man” who is from Detroit. He is a young man that has a bright future in the comedy business and after talking with him it became very apparent to me why his future is so bright. He knows exactly what he wants and he loves what he does. He has opened up for such well-known comedians as “Cedric The Entertainer”, and DL Hugley. He also entertained the audience at Detroit Gospel.com’s Summer Mega Mixer in August. I believe you will be hearing from this young man for many years to come.
DG.com: How long have you been doing comedy?
Mel-Man: It’s been 6 years.
DG.com: How did you get started in comedy?
Mel-Man: Actually when I was in college they had a little talent show. I was always cracking jokes and somebody asked me why don’t you just get in it. I didn’t have any material. So I went up there and acted out people I knew and ended up winning the talent show out of about thirty-something people. That was it. It took off from there. When I came back here I started doing open mics in the area and things took off from there. I did open mics for a year or two after college and then Marc Ridley at the Comedy Castle started asking me to do more open mics. I guess he saw something in me. From there I knew and started taking it to another level.
DG.com: When did you know that you wanted to do comedy full time?
Mel-Man: Full time came about 2 years ago. I got tired of working so many hours to make somebody else rich. I figured if I can put 100% effort into another company then I can put 100% into myself. I worked for Hilton Hotels. One day I came home after working and was watching the Hilton sisters on TV and it hit me that these girls are rich because of me breaking my neck. I put in my 2 weeks and dove in full time. I was blessed. I came out on top.
DG.com: What comedians have influenced you?
Mel-Man: Eddie Murphy, and Martin Lawrence. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to be cool and funny all in one.
DG.com: Where can people see you locally?
Mel-Man: I’m at Comedy Castle in Royal Oak a lot and the House of Comedy downtown.
DG.com: Tell us about the college tour that you are going on.
Mel-Man: It will be a nationwide college tour with NACA. They put on college comedy shows. It’s going to be state to state. Making the college students laugh. We’ll be hitting schools from small towns in Georgia to big towns in Wisconsin.
DG.com: You mentioned that you had opened up for “Cedric the Entertainment”. What was that like?
Mel-Man: I actually won a contest to open up for “Cedric The Entertainer”. I was real nervous because you knew he would be watching the show. But he talked to me before the show. He was telling me how to really get into it, what clubs to go to, not to be nervous, just to have fun and talk as if you’re in front of 300 or 400 people instead of thousands, and that when you hear the roar of the laughter just relax and have fun. I went on and told my first joke and heard the roar of the crowd, and then I was comfortable and knew I was at home.
DG.com: What do you attribute your success to?
Mel-Man: Actually what I learned from my parents, and what I learned playing baseball. When I played ball we were taught to be disciplined. To be disciplined and be your best you had to practice. I do it the same way in comedy. I practice my jokes and go over them in the mirror. I don’t drink or smoke. I’m more disciplined than most. I stayed focused.
DG.com: Who are some of the other up-n-coming comedians from Detroit that we should look for?
Mel-Man: Horace “HB” Sanders (the “Star Search” winner); Cool-Aide is another urban comedian and he is outstanding; Martini Harris who does a lot of impressions; Foolish who is on the radio doing his thing; and another young cat named Martez. He is really stepping it up to become one of the best. Between us Detroit should be on the map sooner or later.