Michael Colyar has entertained us for years and is still going strong. His commitment in honoring his gift to make us laugh is real.
How did you know that you were funny enough to follow the path in becoming a professional comedian?
I knew I was funny enough to be considered a professional when people started paying me for it on a regular basis, which was pretty immediate. This is my 30th year in the game and I have only worked for myself the whole time. My only boss was God and He answered every call and He only requires 10 percent.
What is your secret in maintaining your career as a comedian?
My secret to maintaining my career is no secret at all. It’s simple … do the work. Comedy is not a spectator sport; it is a participatory sport. It is an action sport and it’s all about staying current, relevant and exciting. I love jokes and routines and I love mixing them in together to create a fun, relevant set that makes you think and laugh at the same time.
What projects are you working on these days?
I am working on a few great projects right now. I am shooting a music-driven animated film short to help turn around the Black on Black violence in Chicago. It’s called “The Soundtrack of My Life,” with an awesome array of musical artist (Twista, The Brat, GLC and Dave Hollister, to name a few) and Russell Simmons is producing it with me. I just created a variety show called “Michael’s Very Best,” which I shot at the Pasadena Media Center with 64 awesome acts. I have an awesome book about the greatest American President ever, Barack Hussein Obama called “A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the White House, I knocked on the door and a Brother Answered.” I am currently working on my newest book, Michael Goes Motivational, which is my autographical inspirational book of comedy. A third book, Miss Innocent Goes to Kool Skool, is currently at the printers and I am about to shoot an hour comedy special on Venice Beach where I got my start. Now add to that the weekly concerts I do nationally and that I am about to shoot an episode of “Black-ish” titled “Churched” and I guess you could say I’m kinda busy.
What makes a good comedian?
What makes a comedian good is his getting his audience to relate to him and to laugh continuously. To remain consistently funny and to have a point of view, or at least that’s what works for me.
How have you processed the level of blatant racism that has been in the news?
Blatant racism is nothing new to Black people. Since the time we were stolen from Africa and brought here, we have found clever ways of making fun of our oppressors and their take on who and what we are. As clever comedians, our job is to turn our pain into humor and use that humor as a shield and even sometimes as a weapon to thwart our oppressors. We have always maintained that we have to make the best of whatever we can get and we always do. In fact, we as a people have done more with less than any other people anywhere on the planet. That’s why we bad!
Where do you see things for you in the next five years?
In the next five years, I see myself finally recognized as one of the greatest comics to ever do this thing and as a bonafide humanitarian. Also, one of the finest comics alive. Too much? To me, comedy is a gift and if it is used properly it can be a tool to open every door imaginable. I credit Father God for giving me the ability and strength to stay in the game and even be instrumental in changing it.