By Ryan Meehan
Alonzo Bodden is an actor and a comedian most recognized for winning the third season of Last Comic Standing on NBC. He’s appeared on just about every late night talk show that you can think of, and he released his DVD “Tall, Dark, and Funny” in 2005. Since then he’s returned to Last Comic Standing as a talent judge along side fellow FOH 5 Questions alum Kathleen Madigan. He also co-hosts WGN America’s “Inside the Vault”, and if that weren’t enough he’s also our guest this week in 5 Questions.
FOH: How long have you been doing standup and could you describe your first experience in front of a live audience?
AB: I’ve been at it 19 years. My first open mike was at LA Cabaret in Encino. I froze on my second joke. Mind went completely blank and I walked offstage. Second time was at comedy writing class graduation 3 days later. I killed and was hooked.
FOH: Which comedians were your favorites when you were growing up? Was there any particular performance that really stood out in your mind and made you say “That’s what I want to do”?
AB:I didn’t always want to be a comic; I found this in adulthood. Loved Cosby, Carlin, and Robin Harris.
FOH: Was there ever a point during the third season of Last Comic Standing where you were really worried that you weren’t going to win?
AB: Every Tuesday. I knew I was strong I think I was a favorite to win but you never know how America’s gonna vote.
FOH: What was it like judging that show knowing you were on that same stage just two years earlier? Did you feel like you maybe went a little bit easier on some of the comics since you had recently been through that experience?
AB: No I don’t think I went easier on ‘em. I looked for originality and real comedy. I didn’t diss them Simon Cowell style because hats not my personality. We had ANT for that.
FOH: Let’s talk about your writing process…Do you feel like as a comic you’re always writing all of the time, or do you have a certain time set aside each week just for brainstorming and writing?
AB: I’m always ready to write down what strikes me as funny. Sitting down and writing at certain time is most difficult. That kind of discipline would have made me rich as a writer/producer. Instead I’m out here grinding.
FOH: Who are your favorite comedians to work with? What is it about working with these comics that makes them so pleasant to be around?
AB: Jeremy Hotz because he’s subtlety brilliant and makes me work harder. Dom Irrera and George Wallace because they are old masters. I like working with Lewis Black because he’s the top of political comedy game.
FOH: What’s next for you in the twelve months to come?
AB: I don’t know. I’m podcasting. Pitching TV ideas, auditioning. I’m always open to next indicated thing, why, do you know somebody? I’m available.
If you’re in the Indianapolis area, you can catch Alonzo Thursday through Saturday, July 19-21st at Morty’s Comedy Joint.
Alonzo’s official website: http://www.alonzolive.com/
Alonzo on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlonzoBodden
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