By Kevin Tit
Bentzen Ball returns this weekend, featuring some of the biggest comedians in the country. DMV native Jermaine Fowler will be performing on Saturday’s Homecoming show at the Entertainment and Sports Arena along with a star studded line up of comedians homegrown in the DMV.
Fowler has gained notable success over the years working on TV shows Bojack Horseman (Netflix), Family Guy (FOX), Crashing (HBO), and was the star of the CBS sitcom Superior Donuts. He also played a major role in, what might be my favorite movie to come out in 2018, SORRY TO BOTHER YOU.
He was extremely generous with his time and an absolute pleasure to speak with. Don’t miss his set this Saturday!
Jermaine Fowler: Hey, what’s up Kev?
BYT: Hey man, how you doing?
J.F.: I’m good. how you doin?
BYT: Thanks for taking the time to do this.
J.F.: No problem, man!
BYT: Let’s get into it. You ready for Bentzen Ball coming up?
J.F.: Yeah. I’m ready, man. Should be a good show.
BYT: You did have a special Give ‘Em Hell Kid come out this past summer on Comedy Dynamics?
J.F.: That got re-released, yeah. That first came out late 2015 and it got rereleased last year through Comedy Dynamics. It was first licensed through Showtime for about two years. I thought it was the right time to make a re-release.
BYT: You have any plans on another special?
J.F.: Of course. Right now, I’ve been focusing on filming a couple movies. But, in my off time I’ve been going on stage down in Atlanta working on some jokes. I think later this year and early next year I’ll dedicate more time for a proper tour to go around and showcase an hour that I’d love to film this spring. That’s the timeline I’m hoping for but, ya know, things happen as far as my schedule. Right now I’m at the mercy of projects that I’m passionate about on the film side. We’ll see. Nothing’s concrete at the moment. Right now, I’m extremely focused on perfecting this next stand up special.
BYT: Right on. Right on. So, you’re working on Coming to America 2? Congrats on that!
J.F: Thank you very much!
BYT: Anything else in the works that you’re allowed to talk about? Or are you able to talk about working on Coming to America 2?
J.F.: I don’t wanna say too much about it. But I can tell you that the cast is pretty damn … It’s pretty deep. We got some legendary comics coming out who were cast as characters in the film. We got original cast members to reprise will reprise rolls in the sequel and I’m really proud of my role in the movie. It’s gonna be a fun one man and I think it’s a worthy sequel.
BYT: Any plans while you’re in town outside of comedy?
J.F.: Oh yeah. When I’m in D.C. I try to make time to visit my family, my friends, old high school buddies, elementary school buddies, my dad, my siblings and ya know. I like to roam my old stomping grounds. Places I grew up skateboarding at, gettin’ in fights at, hanging out at the mall. Ya know, nostalgic shit.
J.F.: I love trying to get up on stage in D.C. as much as I can because the crowds are so damn good. They’re so damn smart. They get everything. They’re the best audiences to do stand up comedy for so I try to get on stage three times a night while I’m in D.C. I don’t like announcing shows when I’m there though. I’m very particular about what I want people to come and check out. But, this show coming up in DC (Bentzen Ball) is gonna be a fun one! They’re gonna hear things I’ve been working on for the past three years. I’m gonna catch the fans from the first comedy special up with what’s been going on with me. It’s gonna be fun because a lot has happened.
BYT: Yeah, I can imagine.
J.F.: Yeah, I don’t wanna release a new comedy special every year cos, ya know, many things can happen in a year but I feel like if you put things out like that so formulaic it’s not gonna feel special. I don’t believe in that business model at all. This show, even if it’s gonna be a relatively shorter set than I’d like it to be, they’re gonna hear some great shit. They’ll hear about how I’ve grown as a person and as a comedian and I’m proud of the person I’ve become.
I want the people who come out to the show to see all the comedians who’ve grown up out there (D.C.). Not just me! Aparna, Rory, ya know, we all came up together and sort of watched each other change. It’s been a beautiful thing. I’ve been a fan of the comedians on this show for a while. I’m just as excited to watch this show as the people who buy tickets to come. I’m gonna be laughing just as much as them.
BYT: Hell yeah. Really pumped to have ya. It’s a beautiful thing to see everyone coming back together for a nice little homecoming.
J.F.: Yeah! It’s gonna be a homecoming for a lot of people. I’m glad they put the show on. It’s the perfect time for a show like this because everybody who’s a part of this show is doing big things and I’m very proud of them. I’m so proud of everybody on this show. I appreciate Tig and Bentzen Ball for having us and I really hope I can do this annually. As far as comedy goes; people need to know that the level of talent that DC, Maryland and Virginia has is unprecedented.
BYT: Anything else you want people to know about?
J.F.: I would like everybody coming to the shows to know that if y’all bring me fried chicken with mambo sauce, that’d be nice.