Lavell Crawford is one of the biggest comics standing. No, really. He’s big!
SacramentoComedy.Com got a chance to talk to Crawford both by phone and in person as he was preparing to headline at the Punchline, a premier Sacramento comedy club. This is one of the funniest interviews we have done!
In Part One of our interview, Crawford talked about his new bride, the weather in Sacramento (colder than a witch’s tit or a coal diggers ass), compares walking the long hallway to The Punchline to a scene from the movie “Good Fellas” and talked a little about his size.
Much of Crawford’s act focuses on his childhood, his weight and about people’s misconception of larger size people. “I just talk about the adversity and funny things about being a big guy.” My mom was like a mother and father. She did a lot of funny things and a lot of contradictory things… I was a chunky kid and she would tell me that I couldn’t fit into my school clothes but then told me I had to clean my plate! When I hurt my leg, she would give me a cookie instead of putting a band-aid on it.”
But he insists that he works out and the doctors have given him a clean bill of health. “There is such thing as ‘healthy fat'” he states.
Crawford, who has been performing for over 20 years, talks about how he began his career in St. Louis when a woman he knew by the name of Lisa would laugh hard at his jokes. Crawford promptly called ‘The Funny Farm’ and waited for months to get on the list. “I made a deal with God that if I make just one person laugh, then I am going to make this my career.” Lisa went on to break his heart and Crawford has a few choice words for her in Part 2.
Well, God and the crowd both agreed that Crawford is a very funny man and that dare has led to a stellar career.
Over the last 20 years Crawford has amassed an enviable resume. Racking up multiple appearances on shows like; Def Comedy Jam and BET’s Comic View in the early 90’s, followed by Steve Harvey’s Big Time and Jamie Foxx’s Laffapalooza. He is also a regular on Chelsea Handler’s E! television show, Chelsea Lately.
Then came the career boosting NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2005. Crawford finished in second place when he was narrowly beaten by Season 5 winner Jon Reep, from Hickory, North Carolina. When asked if it was hard to make the cross over from “urban” comedy where he got his start to the more tame routines required on Last Comic Standing, he replied that “laughter is universal” and explained that he just “talks about my problems and everyday things. People just listen to you more when you just talk to them.”
Viewers Question – We decided to go to our Twitter community and solicit some questions for Crawford. A question from Svitlana Kuryo from Chicago, asked about any bloopers from working with (my ex), Chelsea Handler on her E! television show, Chelsea Lately. This provided Crawford with the foundation to call Johnny Knox retarded and Chelsea’s sidekick Chuy, a midget. All in a days work for such a gentle, funny man.
Finally, after he expressed his love of rapping, we put Crawford on the spot when we asked him to make up a rap for SacramentoComedy.Com and he rose to the occasion. Thank you Lavell!
Parts of the written interview were first published by Steven Bloom in the Sacramento Press on January 26, 2010 and used by permission of the author (yeah, me!).