Stand-up comedian Josh Adams hails from Detroit, Michigan. In his ten years of doing comedy, he’s performed on BET’s Apollo Live, appeared on Fox’s DishNation and won comedy festivals all over the Midwest and East Coast.
1. How do you describe your comedy?
My comedy is just me having the most fun a human being can have on a stage. Talking about any and everything. Stories about my child hood to politics or sex or race…anything!
2. Who are some of your comedic influences?
My parents are big influences on me comedically because they’re both really funny and come from different worlds. Mom is from Buffalo, New York (Side note: She went to high school with Rick James); Pops was born and raised in Philadelphia, Mississippi where he missed slavery by two weeks.
But you’re probably talking about famous influences: Tommy Davidson and his Illin in Philly special which aired on showtime and the movie Low Down Dirty Shame written by and starring Keenan Ivory Wayans — those two things made me want to be funny. I didn’t want to be a comedian, I just wanted to be funny as a kid.
3. You’ve been doing comedy for over ten years. Along the way, did you have any breakthrough insights into your craft?
I’ve realized that I’m growing more as a man, and my material has been going in a direction where I’ve been speaking more on what’s going on in the world, and I’ve notice a different kind of laugh/applause that I receive when I say these things. I’m excited about what I’m evolving into as a comedian.
4. How much “crowd work” do you usually incorporate into your set? What is your approach to crowd work?
I love crowd work/freestyling cause it’s all about having fun. Nothing is funnier then something being created in the moment. I try to use as much crowd work as I can; sometimes I go up and only get to 40% of my material that I planned on doing cause I catch a wave on stage. Cues can come from anywhere: how the venue is set up, something that I saw when I walked in, or the ride up. I don’t know it, it just comes natural to me so it’s hard for me to give a textbook definition on it. It’s damn near like magic.
5. You just released your first album, Live at the Drop. What advice do you have for other comedians looking to record an album?
I had a great time recording my first album, it was a exciting experience. I got to perform it in a place I’ve never been before (South Bend, Indiana) at The Drop comedy club. My advice to comedians? Do it yourself. The resources are out there. We’ve got the same access that all the labels do thanks to the internet. You get more money and creative control over your product overall. Creative control is most important.
6. Tell us about your web series, Dead Wrong. What goes into making that?
Dead Wrong was my first opportunity to really write a script and watch my words come to life. It’s about two guys from Detroit trying to live a regular life during a zombie apocalypse. Shooting anything takes a lot of patience and discipline. Take after take, rewrite after rewrite, editing, ADR….basically hard work, which is the whole reason I do comedy: so I don’t have to wake up at 6am.
7. You have a daughter. How do you balance fatherhood with a comedy career?
Besides the material that she provides on the daily even living in Atlanta with her mother? Just face-timing her, she gives me ten minutes I can go work out somewhere on somebody’s stage. She really just motivates me in a sense that I can’t stop because she needs me to win and to keep winning in the tangible sense because money is something that she needs for school — and the fact kids need food to live, for some reason. Intangibly, she needs to see that she can make her dreams come true; if you work hard anything is possible. That’s what I want to represent in her life.
8. What projects are you currently working on?
Writing more web-based content and a movie or two. Also acting in a couple of theatrical production coming out regional in theaters.
If you don’t mind I’d like to speak to myself three years in the future!
Hey Future Josh,
Hope things are going well in 2019. Trump got one year left — did he build the wall? Have they cured anything yet? ‘Cause I have not been wearing condoms, as you know Better question: Are we sick? ‘Cause if not, forget the last question! By now, I know you got one classic special under your belt and another on the way, plus TV shows and movies. Just sitting on a yacht off the coast of Montego Bay with Leonardo DiCaprio, Project Pat, Conan O’Brian, and your best friend/confidant hologram Stevie Wonder. Don’t let the money change us and remember one thing, cuz: Leave them Kardashians alone! They finally sent Kanye over the edge and he was already nutty. They will ruin you…
EXTRA CREDIT: If your favorite non-comic celebrity knocked on your door and asked you to take them to a cool place in Detroit, who would it be and where would you take them?
The person would be Olaf from Frozen, and I would take him to King of Diamonds, which is a popular strip club in Detroit. First reason: he’s famous, so the strippers would flock to us, and I would get all his lap dancers because he has no lap, being that he is a snowman. Secondly, I heard they have great food there, so I think Olaf would appreciate that. He look like a foodie.