If you’ve ever heard the name “Lil Duval”, it was probably associated with some a hilarious Instagram post or a well talked about Twitter BEef. He’s BEen in the industry a long time and BE Magazine talks with Lil Duval as he discusses BEcoming a Comedian, his new movie Meet The Blacks and Social Media Comedy.
BE Magazine: Why did you want to BEcome a Comedian?
Lil Duval: Might sound cliché now BEcause everyone says it but back in the day. I knew I wanted to BE since day one. I knew it was something I wanted to do BEcause it was back when no one wanted to do it and it wasn’t a big thing to do. Evidently I was supposed to do it. It wasn’t popular. It was something that was seen on TV but you never thought you could actually do it.
BE Magazine: Talking about back in the day, who were you looking at on T.V that pushed you to know this is what you wanted to do?
Lil Duval: Chris Tucker, BEcause he was like one of the first people I saw on television that look and sound like somebody from where I was from and doing comedy. BEfore there were funny dudes, but no one looked like me. But somebody like Chris Tucker he was saying things I would say and I was like damn! He’s the one that made me realize I can do it.
BE Magazine: When was the first time you saw him? In stand up or a movie?
Lil Duval: It was both. When I saw him on Def comedy Jam and then Next Friday. I was like that’s how you get in movies, you just BE a comedian and do stand up and you blow up. I mean I was naïve too BEcause I was a kid, but that’s how I thought it was. I do this and then do that and I BEcome famous but that’s what lit the fire inside me.
BE Magazine: You started off with stand up?
Lil Duval: Yes I started off with stand up first. At Uptown in Atlanta, I got on stage on a Sunday night. The hosting comedian gave me my first mic, I got on stage and I did good. The first time going to a comedy club was my first time getting on stage. I thought once you do that you will blow up, so I was like “ what I do next”? I was told I had to come back Wednesday and do it again. This all started by putting my name on the list (which you put your name on a list to get pick and do a set on stage) and my name got picked, and after making the crowd laugh I thought I was Chris Tucker. This was BEfore we had the Internet to do research; all we had was what we thought.
BE Magazine: Do you think social media helps or hurts comedians at this time?
Lil Duval: Not really. It all depends on what you use it for like anything else. I think it’s opened up a whole other lane for comedy for people. It didn’t hurt standup at all. It might hurt the young people that don’t understand what he difference BEtween standup and what BEing a comedian is BEcause the Internet gives you the false sense of you doing good or BEing professionals BEcause its simple. The difference BEtween me and anyone else is I was one of the first to do it. I understand both sides of doing stand up and BEing funny online. But to the average person that think BEing funny online, they think they doing hard work, they think its easy, they think its really genius. But its really simple as hell until they get on stage. It’s all different elements of comedy. It makes it BEtter for me. Those people make my job easy BEcause they can’t do what I do I can do what they do all day. I showed them how to do it. They can’t do what I do.
BE Magazine: BEing versatile, what is the difference BEtween BEing on stage than BEing in front of the camera?
Lil Duval: On the stage it is what it is. You get your immediate gratification. There is no editing or real practice BEcause when you mess up, everyone see it and it’s in the public eye. It is not like with music where you can practice a song and say you don’t like it. Your worst song people are going to hear, your bad night people going to hear it. It is way harder. You can’t cheat on stage. BEing on stage and doing standup is going to take you five to ten years to get into the rhythm.
BE Magazine: You linked up with Mike Epps, how did that happen?
Lil Duval: I BEen knowing Mike most of my career. Mike was one of the people when I first came in and he was just starting shining. Him and Chris tucker identify with the urban community. I kind of took that wing after that BEcause after that there was nobody that spoke from a young point of view. He kind of opened the pathway for me. Made it easy for somebody like me to BE understood by the masses.
BE Magazine: With the new movie “Meet the Black”, Why should everyone who haven’t seen it go out and watch it now?
Lil Duval: BEcause it a funny movie. I know with some black people you have to twist their arms to go out to watch, but I’m not going to say anything else. This movie is not for everybody. At the end of the day, this movie is for a demographic that hasn’t BEen half dead for a long time. Very few movies that look like the urban demographic in the movie theater or for the age group from 18-30. It’s great for that demographic and that voice. Its not going to BE a 12 years of slavery but it is a funny comedy that was done right. You going to laugh. I guarantee that you are going to laugh if you don’t then you don’t like to BE happy.
BE Magazine: Which sitcoms in the 90’s or back in the day would you would’ve wished to have BEen on?
Lil Duval: I would’ve BEen on Martin, In Living color, Dave Chappell. I like the BErnie Mack show. I like how he changed the game with his show. People don’t realize it but he kinda did. He turned a sitcom in first person.
BE Magazine: So your name “Lil Duval” clearly comes from your hometown Jacksonville, what do you do in your community?
Lil Duval: I do a lot of things. I give back to my community every year and do things here and there for them. But most importantly, I give them inspiration to see somebody from where they are from and having the whole world saying Duval (most people don’t even know what Duval means). People don’t realize the most important thing to give anyone is inspiration. When I came up I didn’t see no one that looked like me. If I would’ve came up when Mayweather was a champion, I would’ve BEen a boxer. When you see someone that looks like you or you can identify with them, that would inspire you. I can give money all the time but the money is not going to take you longer than what you can implement in the minds of the youth.
BE Magazine: what can we look forward to, future project from u?
Lil Duval: I shoot my special this year, Guy Code is coming back and another movie coming out later this year.