Comedian D’Lai is a bundle of jokes and good looks. As a finalist of Bill Bellamy’s “Who’s Got Jokes” televised on TV One, he proved himself more than worthy of a slot with Bill Bellamy’s “Ladies Night Out Tour.”
He was a semifinalist on Season 3 and a finalist on Season 4.
Now, D’Lai is giving us the goods on his journey under the influence of Bill Bellamy and also the behind the scenes outlook of his world when the lights turn off and the curtain closes.
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D’Lai on “Who’s Got Jokes?” Season 3
Did you attend college and what was college life like for you?
I attended Louisiana State University. College ignited my pursuit for comedy. At the time, I was sick of listening; I didn’t feel like pursuing an education but I knew I could make people laugh.
You incorporate the experiences of your losses in your comedic acts. How so? For most musicians that have overcome tragedies, creating and performing their music serves as a form of therapy for them…a form of release. Is that what comedy is for you?
That’s exactly what it is. When you experience something life altering such as a loss, you want to spend more time laughing opposed to mourning. As comedians, most of us take pain and turn it into something positive.
What was it like being a Black Jack dealer at Wynn Casino? Did it in any way play a part in your networking and aid in your breakthrough to becoming a sought out comedian? Were the players at your table laughing more than gambling?
It was exciting! I got to play with other people’s money, talking at 100 miles an hour—and I mean talking cold hard sh*t! I watched people gambling three or four thousand dollars a hand and they weren’t smiling AT ALL, but there I was, dealing the hand, talkin’ sh*t taking people’s money and ready to give the casinos money away!
You were a semifinalist on Season 3 and a finalist on Season 4 of Bill Bellamy’s “Who’s Got Jokes” which aired on TV One. Tell me about that experience. Take me through the initial selection process and the stream of emotions flowing through you when you made it as far as you did.
I returned to Season 4 as the “comeback kid” where they took fan favorites from the previous season and automatically placed them in semi-finals Season 4. My thought process was just that I knew I was in the finals, this was my second chance, and that if I gave a great performance that would equate to more fans.
Your best friend, Comedian J Reid, was the winner of Season 4 “Who’s Got Jokes.” That had to be a bitter sweet moment for you. Were you best friends prior to the show? Did you two discuss prior to the finals how you would handle it no matter who won?
We discussed it beforehand and we knew despite the outcome, either way it would be a great storyline. It was a bittersweet feeling (when they announced J was the winner) but it was a great starting point for both of our careers.
D’Lai’s Daily Rants: NBA Lockout
Both you and J Reid are now touring with Bill Bellamy’s “Ladies Night Out Tour.” How has that been? Who all is on this tour with you?
So far, it has been phenomenal. Each city gives us amazing energy and the crowds are electrifying. This tour is all about the fans! Beautiful ladies get dressed up and come out with their friends, couples and even men come out too! Most people think the title of the tour limits the show to ladies only but these laughs are made for and enjoyed by everyone; it is literally all inclusive fun! The Ladies Night Out Tour consists of Bill Bellamy, J Reid, Ali Saddiq and myself.
In September of 2011, the Ladies Night Out Tour filmed a special with Showtime Networks that will be airing in the spring. Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect?
You can expect to see great energy, beautiful people, and jokes from start to finish by some of the country’s most talented comedians.
Give us some behind the scenes scoop of the tour. It would be my guess that a tour of comedians is hilarious both on and off stage. Give us the goods…What kind of pranks and antics go on when you’re not in the public eye?
Bill and I traveled to Marco Island in Florida for a show and on the way to the hotel, Bill was telling me how nice the hotel was that we would be staying at. We stay in nice hotels anyway, but he was really putting emphasis on how nice this one was. So I get to my room and I notice everything was huge! The bed, lamp, television, and the numbers on the clock…I mean EVERYTHING was huge. I was really impressed! So I finally go to sit on the toilet, and I realized my feet were dangling—they’d booked ME in a handicapped room!
Sometimes achieving success can be tricky. It can either positively or negatively impact your personal life. How has the show and tour changed your life personally?
I don’t expect people to know who I am when I go back to cities I’ve performed in so it’s very humbling to have people recognize me. I’m appreciative and I don’t take it for granted.
So, I hear you have been nicknamed “Boots.” Who gave you that name and why?
Dick Gregory gave me that nickname. I opened up for him a few years back and he looked at my outfit and down at my shoes and said “You ain’t neva worked a hard day in your life have you, Boots? And are those alligator?”
If you could no longer do comedy, would you pursue another career in a different field of entertainment? If not what would you do?
I would still be a blackjack dealer. That’s the closest thing to standup!
D’Lai’s Daily Rants: Conrad Murray
What comedians, present and past, have influenced you the most?
Richard Pryor and Bill (Bellamy). I’ve learned a lot about the business side from him (Bill).
Have you ever had a performance where you knew you were flat out bombing and the audience wasn’t feeling you? How did you turn it around?
Yes, I did…I’m glad you asked! It was my first time performing and I bombed! I turned it around by placing the mic back in the mic stand and ordering 10 shots at the bar. I wasn’t gonna waste anymore of those peoples’ time!
Do you test your jokes on others before you incorporate it into your routine?
Sometimes I do with strangers; I don’t normally test my jokes on people I know, but the true test comes when it’s time to go on stage.
D’Lai’s Daily Rants: Herman Cain
If you had to compare your comedic style to one of the all time GREAT comedians, who would you say you are most similar to?
I wouldn’t say anyone. I try to create my own lane because my personality stands alone.
Yes. For me, it’s important to recognize the men and women who sacrifice their lives and families for our freedom. It’s not an easy task so as my way to show my appreciation for their selflessness; I travel overseas as often as I can to touch military branches with laughter.
What better way to wrap up your feature than to ask what is the funniest thing that you’ve experienced or that has happened to you throughout your pursuit of the show and touring?
A few months ago we did a show in Houston and Tracy McGrady invited us to his house to hang out. Long story short, I got lost INSIDE the house! Tracy really needs to hand out compasses, maps, and a GPS to get around his house. I didn’t know where I was and the whole time I was trying to find my way back all I kept thinking to myself is, “I got lost, in ANOTHER man’s house?!?!”
Gumbumpers we hope you enjoyed this feature as much as we did… leave us your comment in that comment box, right under this post!! Hollllerrrrrrrrrrr players.
D’Lai in Hayward, CA: