Hank Denson, an Atlanta based comedian, has been making a name for himself on the comedy circuit for the past 10 years. He’s a friend to your favorite comedian, having opened up for Jamie Foxx, Cedric the Entertainer, Amy Schumer and Rodney Perry. Hank appeared in Barbershop 3 and has a role in the upcoming Tupac biopic, All Eyes on Me.
It was a random yet honest moment, however, that led to Denson becoming an Internet sensation. After volunteering as a chaperone during his son’s field trip, a mentally tortured Denson recorded an amusing commentary about his day at the Georgia Aquarium with a group of six-year-old kids. His summation: Pay teachers more money! He confessed that after one day with these six-year-olds, he was completely drained and the heroes that do the work everyday, teachers, should be payed more. “Summer school should come with a PSA, ‘Make Your Kid Take a Shower.’ It’s hard to teach in the funk!” jokes Hank.
After receiving widespread support and 5.8 million views and counting for his #payteachersmoremoney movement, Denson not only recorded follow up posts but hit the road performing exclusively for teachers, and even put the call out that if any teacher have a hard day, he would buy them a round of drinks. Denson, who rarely drinks, jokes, “People ask me, ‘Why pay teachers more money?’ I tell them, you go volunteer at your local school. You will need a Hennessy and Coke!”
We spoke with him about the movement. Here are his thoughts. –angela d. mack (T: @AngelaDMack)
Did you have any idea that after hundreds of shows and videos, this is what would receive the most views?
Of course not or I would have planned it and posted on YouTube. It was so real what those kids put me through; I just had to tell somebody and Facebook live was the easiest.
Why did you decide to become a comedian?
I always wanted to be an entertainer. I could not sing. I tried, but I sounded horrible. I could dance but not long ’cause I have Asthma. I didn’t have to do much fighting growing up either, because I would just pull out my inhaler and even the hardest gangster would feel sorry for me or laugh at me, and then I knew comedy was the perfect fit.
Where can we find you regularly in Atlanta?
Atlanta Punchline Comedy Club and I have shows coming up at the Kansas City Improv June 24-26, lBlack Comedy Explosion Boston June 29 and Paste Magazine New York July 14.
Find him on Facebook.