You would be hard-pressed to find someone who has out hustled Marcus Banks over the last few years on the comedy circuit. From local host to being backed by one of the most powerful machines in the entertainment industry today, Marcus Banks has paid his dues, at all costs. Inspired by real life situations, he has poured his soul into comedy providing quality every time he hits the stage, be it as headliner or as a supporting act. His story is very real, and his goals, even realer. Parlé with me as I introduce you to the pride and joy of Lincoln Avenue, Specialyst Entertainments’/ Muscle Managements’ own Marcus Banks.

Read more: Comedian Marcus Banks - Started From The Bottom

Creative, beautiful, entertaining, and accomplished, those are just some of the adjectives you can use to describe the lovely Tiffany Haddish. As a comedian her credentials speak for themselves, and as a person her aura exudes nothing but welcoming and positive energy. Underneath it all, she has a back story that has without a doubt shaped her work ethic, pushing her to be who she is today. With her recent appearance on Arsenio Hall adding to her recurring role on Real Husbands of Hollywood, to say that she has arrived is absolutely an understatement. 

Read more: Tiffany Haddish - Beautiful, Talented, Funny & Smart

Comedian Kyle Grooms is ready for some laughs. Being in the comedy game for many years, he has seen what it’s like to woo a crowd and when to know that you have bombed. That doesn’t deter him from doing what he loves and what he has made a career out of. Hailing from Elizabeth, NJ, the comedian has become a regular on the New York City comedy scene.  Kyle has performed at New York's top comedy clubs, including Caroline’s, Comic Strip, Comedy Cellar and Gotham.  He has also taken part in Kyle has been featured on P-Diddy's Bad Boys of Comedy, Jamie Foxx's Laffapalooza, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, The Byron Allen Show, BET Comic View, and Red Carpet Fashion. Parlé Magazine was given the opportunity to chat with the comedian about his growth and the comedy industry.
Parlé Magazine: How long have you been in the comedy game?
Kyle Grooms: I have been doing comedy full time for 12 years but total for 17 years. I went professional after five years of being on stage.
Parle: How did you get your start?
Kyle Grooms: I started in Miami working at Univision and I was doing comedy at night as a hobby.
Parle: What drew you to comedy?
Kyle Grooms: I always was funny; I was always the person that cracked on your shoes and your clothes. I was the class clown and the funny dude. I never thought I could do it because coming up all we had was Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor, it seemed like they came from outer space. When I saw Def Comedy Jam on television and they showed the regular people, I thought I could do it.
Parle: Who influenced you?
Kyle Grooms: Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Bill Hicks and a lot of guys I seen in the comedy clubs in Miami.
Parle: What do you think sets you apart?
Kyle Grooms: I try to be original, if I hear people talking about the same thing; I tend to stay away from it or put my own spin.
Parle: How much of comedy is not about the jokes?
Kyle Grooms: The other 50 percent, the part that isn’t funny.
Parle: What is your style of comedy?
Kyle Grooms: I talk a lot about culture and some people say my comedy is smart.
Parle: What’s the process for putting together your set?
Kyle Grooms: Uh, weed. [Laughs] I’m kidding, but it’s alone time and being in my head.
Parle: Has the crowd not responded the way you wanted them to?
Kyle Grooms: Oh yeah, as a comic there is going to be a bad night. I had girl issues and bombed three nights in one weekend. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad comic just a bad night.
Parle: What would you do it in that situation?
Kyle Grooms: I would still have fun and keep it moving.
Parle: Is a comedy team required or can one person be funny by themselves?
Kyle Grooms: I do my own material; I haven’t gotten to a point to have a team. That seems to be the move now. If I had multiple projects I would have a team.
Parle: What do you have coming up?
Kyle Grooms: I’m doing Comedy after Dark by Walter Latham who did Kings of Comedy. We’re filming in Miami. I have an online radio show called Hick-Hop Radio.

Comedian Kyle Grooms is ready for some laughs. Being in the comedy game for many years, he has seen what it’s like to woo a crowd and when to know that you have bombed. That doesn’t deter him from doing what he loves and what he has made a career out of. Hailing from Elizabeth, NJ, the comedian has become a regular on the New York City comedy scene.  Kyle has performed at New York's top comedy clubs, including Caroline’s, Comic Strip, Comedy Cellar and Gotham.  He has also taken part in and been featured on P-Diddy's Bad Boys of Comedy, Jamie Foxx's Laffapalooza, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, The Byron Allen Show, BET Comic View, and Red Carpet Fashion. Parlé Magazine caught up with Kyle as he performed at The Laugh Tour at Art House Productions in Jersey City to chat with the comedian about his growth and the comedy industry.

Read more: Kyle Grooms - The Smart Man In Comedy

Benji Brown is by all accounts a veteran in the comedy industry. He has done it all: Stand-up, TV, Radio,
DVDs and Commercials. You may have seen him on Comic View (BET), Wild n'Out (MTV) or 1st Amendment Stand Up (Starz). His laugh-out-loud, gut busting humor is filled with “aha!” moments and will have you craving for the next punchline. He blends his strong opinions and life perspectives seamlessly into comedic fun that everyone can enjoy. Benji's humor is not just about telling 'jokes', but actually relating to his audience on a different level while just happening to be hilarious! After speaking with Benji, I definitely look forward to when it warms up in NYC so that he can come to perform!
Eddwina Gregg: How did you get your start?
BENJI BROWN: I never really meant to do it, but I’m glad it worked out. I was always the class clown and the life of the party growing up. Michael Jackson helped spark my interest in music and entertainment. I admired the control he had on stage and how he would perform with the crowd in the palm of his hand. I met a managing agent one day and he just booked me for a show with no practice! I just got on stage and acted like myself. While I was up there, I thought “wow I could really get used to this!” – I’ve been doing it for 15 years.
EG: How would you describe your comedic style?
BB: It’s energetic, versatile, edge of your seat nonstop laughter with never a dull moment. In one word: MAGIC!
EG: You’ve appeared on a lot of TV shows and you do stand-up. Which do you prefer?
BB: Stand-up is always a fun experience. You can do your thing live without stopping. I enjoy TV as well. It’s like an out of body experience when you catch yourself on the tube – like looking into a mirror. Now what I don’t like is the personal criticism – “Oh I could have done this better”, maybe I would like TV even more if I had my own show!
EG: You are known for your impersonations, one of the most famous being Kiki. Tell me about her.
BB: She is a real person! I didn’t make her up, I only did the voice. I never really gave her a name and then one day while I was at a taping for Comic View, I was like “I have to think of a name”. Ashley? – NO. Bianca? – NO. Crystal? – NO. Then Kiki just hit. It’s a name everybody can relate to and a person that everybody knows – your aunt, sister, mom, hell even you might be Kiki! You can take her to the club, but not the banquet.
EG: It is a common criticism in the industry that black comedians and actors in particular have to play roles as women in order to further their careers. What are your thoughts on that?
BB: Not everyone is talented enough to do it. You have to be able to breathe life into the characters; the people that do the most complaining are the ones that can’t do it. Most of those comedians were already funny by themselves – Martin Lawrence, Eddie Murphy, Jaime Foxx – they were all funny before. Even Tyler Perry has substance when he plays different characters. I can do the Kiki voice all day, but I’m still Benji and I’m still funny.
EG: In your Twitter bio, you describe yourself as a hate healer. What does that mean?
BB: Well you know, there is a lot of anger spreading around by hateful people. I think laughter is the remedy to turn hate into love. I’ve seen people come to my show like “I hate coming out” or “I hate going to the club” and by the time the show is over, they loved my set and had a good time.
EG: Also speaking of twitter, you recently tweeted that models are taking over the world. What is up with that?
BB: I am not hating on models! Let me be clear (laughs). It’s just that no one wants to be normal anymore. Pretty soon, the world will have no audience! Rappers will have no one to buy CDs, models won’t have anyone to admire them or tell them that they look good. We won’t have any police officers, judges or lawyers. It’s starting to scare me. I don’t know how many times I have met a girl, I ask her “What do you do?” and she replies, “I work, I go to school, I model…” NO! And you know what else? Stop all this posing and airbrushing. Take regular pictures, no Photoshop. The market is just oversaturated. What makes stars into megastars is that you don’t have a whole crop to choose from. Look at people like Lionel Ritchie, Cyndi Lauper, Prince, Diana Ross – they are unique. You won’t see today’s stars have longevity because there are so many. Nicki Minaj will not be performing in 2035 with a pink wig on. It will not happen! At the end of the day, just be yourself and stop relying on all the glitter.
EG: You have appeared on BET’s College Hill. Do you have any other reality show plans for the future?
BB: I hate reality shows! They take the creativity out of in home entertainment. It's not total reality anyway because most of them are 'scripted'. I miss the days of rushing home to watch sitcoms like The Cosby Show, Martin, Diff'rent Strokes....everybody has a reality show now. Even my crackhead uncle is about to get one: The Life and Times of a Crackhead (laughs).
EG: So what do you have going on next? What are you currently working on?
BB: I am excited about my 2nd DVD coming out, Laff or Die Laffn. The release date is TBA, so I want everyone to be on the lookout for that. I have a few trailers coming out and I am currently working on my website, www.benjibrown.com, that is coming soon. Fans can always catch me on The Ricky Smiley Morning show on 99 Jamz (Miami) from 6-10 am Monday-Friday. I will also be on a College tour this year, so you can catch me at a College, University or HBCU near you!
EG: Where do you see your brand going over the next few years?
BB: I want to continue trying to become a household name. I want to become more viral and work on my international brand, not just national.
To stay abreast of what Benji is up to, you can follow him on Twitter @benjibrown1 or find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/therealbenjibrown.

Benji Brown is by all accounts a veteran in the comedy industry. He has done it all: Stand-up, TV, Radio,DVDs and Commercials. You may have seen him on Comic View (BET), Wild n'Out (MTV) or 1st Amendment Stand Up (Starz). His laugh-out-loud, gut busting humor is filled with “aha!” moments and will have you craving for the next punchline. He blends his strong opinions and life perspectives seamlessly into comedic fun that everyone can enjoy. Benji's humor is not just about telling 'jokes', but actually relating to his audience on a different level while just happening to be hilarious! After speaking with Benji, I definitely look forward to when it warms up in NYC so that he can come to perform!

Read more: Benji Brown Just Happens To Be Hilariously Funny

Everyone likes to laugh, right? Well I introduce to you Omar Thompson, NYC’s newest comedic star! Omar was born and raised in Harlem and got his start in comedy 6 years ago while a student at Post University. He has performed at Caroline’s, Stand Up NY, The Improv, NY Comedy and the Apollo Theater. You may have also seen him on TV One's I Got the Hookup, BET's One Mic Stand, MTV’s Yo Momma or The Tyra Banks Show. He is also CEO of Fortune 500, his very own entertainment company.
Parlé Magazine: So Omar, how did you get your start in comedy?
Omar Thompson: Not a lot of people know this, but I actually started out doing poetry first. When I was in college, there were these open mic nights for spoken word poetry called “The Session”. I started writing comedic poetry and built a fanbase, but my poetry wasn't deep enough, so my roommate suggested I try comedy. Then, my senior year in college, I won 2nd place in a talent show and I've been doing it ever since.
Parlé: What has been your best experience on stage?
Omar: My best performance was when I was on BET's One Mic Stand. The show was being filmed in LA, and I was after Aries Spears in the lineup. Since LA is his hometown, I was a little nervous. He went on and killed it! Then another comedian went on and she killed it too. It was supposed to by my turn, but the producers brought Aries Spears out again for a 2nd set. So after he wrapped, it was my turn and I was just anxious to get on stage. When I got out there I focused on not cursing and being as animated as possible. My jokes were flowing and the crowd responded to the punchlines. I got a standing ovation! It was a great night and a great experience!
Parlé: So now you have to tell me about the worst experience so far!
Omar: Ironically enough, it was at the Apollo. I got booed so bad – even my mom was booing. Sandman came out with the hook and everything. They booed the hell out of me. My whole hood came and they all booed me. I cried that night but it didn't stop me though. It helped me build a thick skin. (laughs)
Parlé: Who are some of the top comedians that have inspired you? What would be your ultimate lineup?
Omar:  Eddie Murphy – Phenomenal comedian and actor
Martin Lawrence –He's always inspired me. I watch his show re-runs everyday
Dave Chappelle – Great comedian and writer
Tracy Morgan – He is a wild dude! I've been a fan since he was at Uptown Comedy Club
My unofficial favorite is Judge Mathis though, he is funny as hell. Even the way he talks is funny: “Ma'am!”
Parlé: Omar, you have this collection of sketches. I think the Stepfather sketches are the funniest. What was your inspiration? Did you have a stepfather?
Omar:  I had a few stepfathers! Shout out to my mom, she is a beautiful woman. I had like 4 stepfathers though. I had one that was overly competitive, he had no heart. I remember being like7 and he was always competing with me. He’d be like “shut the &*^% up lil nigga!” I just use crazy life experiences as inspiration for my skits. I am really getting into this acting thing, so please check out my sketches on YouTube. Make sure you subscribe to my channel!
Parlé: What are you currently working on? What is next for you?
Omar:  I’m just continuing to build my brand and get my name out there. I recently launched my DVD and I’m working on my website (www.omarthecomedian.com). It’s up and under construction, so look out for a re-launch soon. I will also be shooting a new movie beginning in mid-January. I play an old, washed up rapper. I am looking forward to appearing on more TV shows and movies and traveling around the U.S. so that I can become a household name!
Omar also hosts a Comedy show on Wednesdays at the Mavi Lounge in Queens, so please be sure to check out his insightful comedy.
Facebook: Omar the Comedian Fan Page
Twitter: @OmartheComedian
YouTube: www.youtube.com/OmarTheComedian

Everyone likes to laugh, right? Well I introduce to you Omar Thompson, NYC’s newest comedic star! Omar was born and raised in Harlem and got his start in comedy 6 years ago while a student at Post University. He has performed at Caroline’s, Stand Up NY, The Improv, NY Comedy and the Apollo Theater. You may have also seen him on TV One's I Got the Hookup, BET's One Mic Stand, MTV’s Yo Momma or The Tyra Banks Show. He is also CEO of Fortune 500, his very own entertainment company.

Read more: Comedian Omar Thompson - From Boos to Standing Ovations

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