by Ryan Meehan
The surest thing to come out of Jersey happened way before MTV was even a reality. You can blame it on the moon men or some other intergalactic event, but there’s no denying that the universe was blessed on March 15th, 1978 with the descent of Na’im “4000” Lynn landing in a small town named Hillside, two miles East of Newark Liberty Airport. (Even then he was so fly he was two miles ahead of the plane) Nevertheless, it was obvious…A star was born. So his parents named him accordingly, as Na’im means “the star” in Arabic. Growing up using Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy for muses, it wasn’t long before Na’im developed a knack for out-of-this-world comedy that has him skyrocketing to the top as THE next big thing. Best known as the opening act for his friend and famed comedian Kevin Hart, Na’im travels the world over blazing the stage as part of Hart’s continuous tour that has produced two genius comedy specials – “Seriously Funny” and “Laugh at my Pain”. Lynn’s thousands of devout users and followers on Facebook and Twitter are privy to his hilarious up-to-the-minute antics and serve as a testing ground for his ever-evolving material – much like his fellow classmates at Temple University who gave him his first ovation as a novice comic on the school’s stage. After graduation, the then aspiring physical therapist ditched that career and a job at U.S. Airways to pursue his passion. A week after ceasing to fly the friendly skies, he won a showcase hosted by NBC, thus starting a ripple effect that has had him riding a wave of success ever since with spots on BET’s Comic View and Jamie Foxx’s Foxxhole Comedy Series just to name a few. Inspired by comedig legends and presently working with some of comedy’s greats, Na’im has no choice but to take his position on the brink of major stardom to achieve his full potential as a comedic dynamo. I am very excited to have the red hot Na’im Lynn as my guest today in 7 questions.
RM: What’s the most important thing you learned about your craft while working on the road with Kevin over the past couple of years?
NL: What I learned about my craft from working with Kevin is that I have a long way to go to achieve that kind of success. It’s one of those “so close but yet so far away” type of things. While touring without him, sometimes we can sell out a comedy club but often times not. He’s selling out arenas and now even a football field. It’s very impressive. Even with his work ethic, I don’t know if I could or would even want to do some of the things he’s doing
RM: Besides fielding an irritating interview request on Facebook, how did you and your friends celebrate Comedy Central’s airing of “Plastic Cup Boyz” back on April 11th?
NL: There really was no celebration at all. We were working when the show aired. We promoted it heavily prior to it coming on, but that was it. We are too busy looking on to the next thing. We got great feedback and that’s all you can ask for.
RM: When you watch video clips of yourself, what is the first aspect of your performance that you begin to analyze? Why do you think you choose to focus on that characteristic above all others?
NL: I actually hate watching myself. It’s taken me six months to a year to watch one of my TV performances. I’ve never enjoyed one. The jokes aren’t funny to me because I’ve heard myself tell them a thousand times. It’s also very uncomfortable to watch myself because you notice all of the weird things you do and faces you make that you had no idea about. I watched the special this past week because I know they cut away about 2/3rds of my set, so I was curious to see what they used.
RM: I saw a live clip online where you discussed how you went to Africa in search of life experiences from which to draw material…Is there any other area of the world that you haven’t had the chance to visit yet that you think might be a potential goldmine for untapped material?
NL: Not really. I’ve been to almost every place I want to go. Maybe a trip to the Middle East may give me some material. But it wouldn’t be making fun of them, it would be me enlightening people here.
RM: Can you think of a time in your career when you were on a bill and the show wasn’t going very well before you hit the stage; and if so how did you go about turning things around once you got up there? Is there anything that experience taught you about yourself and the approach that you take to doing comedy?
NL: It happens very often. I always watch the show before I go on so I know what type of energy to bring. Also to make sure no one has touched on my subject matter.
RM: When it comes to the comedic writing process, what would you consider to be your strongest skill? Why do you think you excel at that particular aspect of the procedure?
NL: The strongest thing about my writing is my observation…My ability to come up with material on things that people think only they experience. Comics often say “I wish I would’ve thought of that joke”.
RM: Would you say that what you do on stage is more of an art or more of a science?
NL: Performance is an art. Thinking and writing is a science. It’s seldom that you find a comedian that is great at both. When you reach that level, you reach a high level of success.
RM: What’s up next for you in the remainder of 2015 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
NL: This actual moment, I am in Atlanta filming the second season of Survivors Remorse. It’s a small part again but definitely memorable. Other than that, just touring and waiting for something big to come up.
Na’im on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Naimgotjokes
Na’im on Twitter: https://twitter.com/naimthestar
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