By Ryan Meehan
With a long list of notable accomplishments as an actor, writer and comic, he’s proven to be one of the industry’s must-see comics on the scene. With a uniqueness all to himself, Grooms delivers an honest and intelligent view of the world, while giving an intimate look into his life experiences growing up in the American melting pot. Throughout his career, he has appeared in his own hysterical half-hour stand-up special on Comedy Central, while also making multiple appearances on VH1, NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” and famed sketch comedy show, “Chappelle’s Show.” Among his many accomplishments, his first comedy CD, “The Legend of the Jersey Devil,” was named one of iTunes’ Top 100 Comedy CD’s of 2009. A regular on the New York comedy scene, Grooms has performed at several top clubs, including Caroline’s, Comic Strip, Comedy Cellar and Gotham. He has been featured on several television, radio and internet broadcasts, such as 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.” Having even brought his act overseas, he performed at the “Le Grande Journal” in France and has made several appearances in national TV ad campaigns for companies including T-Mobile, Sears, Career Builders and Holiday Inn Express. Grooms continues to grow as a stand-up comedian, writer and actor, can currently be seen performing worldwide, and he’s our guest today in 7 questions.
RM: What can you tell us about the first set you ever had that went so well you really knew that this was something you could do professionally? What was your closing joke in that set?
KG: It was my 4th time on stage at a country club in Delray Beach, Florida. I closed with a joke about Oprah and black people in slave movies, it killed. I did the same bit two years later on Def Comedy Jam.
RM: Which New York comedy club is your favorite place to perform and why? Do you think that the idea of comics still considering a venue to be their “Home club” is outdated?
KG: My favorite club is the Comedy Cellar, mainly because of the Olive Tree restaurant upstairs. It’s a place where comics hang. On any given night you’ll find some of the top comics in the world just chillin’. (Chris Rock, Louis Ck , Ray Romano, etc. ) Not to mention the other celebrity actors and musicians who stop by.
I don’t think the term home club is outdated because most comics start in smaller markets, and the home club is usually the club that gives you the most spot early in their career. Unfortunately some comics are forced to choose one club if there is more than one club in that market, because club owners ban you from working for the competition. Which I think sucks!
RM: Who were the other panelists when you were on “Tough Crowd”, and how long have you known Colin?
KG: Sorry, that was a while ago so my memory is a little cloudy. I know Colin for sure since it’s his show, and I believe Greg Giraldo and Todd Barry. I’ve known Colin since 2002 when I moved from Miami to NY to do comedy.
RM: While technology has changed the industry of stand-up comedy, not everyone believes that it’s for the better…Would you say the industry is better off for up and coming comics because there are so many ways for them to be seen; or that since the industry has become so over-saturated with podcasts and the like, that it might actually be harder for new comics to get exposure these days due to the volume of competition?
KG: I think technology can help you get exposure because people can see you without leaving their house, but on the other hand comedians are multiplying like roaches. There is definitely over saturation. These days every city I visit has its own comedy scene with at least 100 comedians, all of us are not going to make it.
RM: How would you best describe your last corporate gig? What do you do to prepare yourself for a show like that; and how is it different from walking on stage at a comedy club?
KG: The last corporate gig I did was pretty sweet! I was flown to the Cayman Islands to perform at Margaritaville for local business owners. I spent four days on the island and only performed once.
I prepare for corporate by writing a list of my jokes that don’t include words like Muthafucker, etc. It’s different from comedy club because I have to be self aware, and that’s not as fun.
RM: How much of your act could be considered “Racial humor”? What’s the most important thing to remember when writing material of that nature?
KG: I’d say twenty percent of my act is racial humor…I think it’s important to be truthful, funny and fair. I like to write so that everyone in the room can appreciate the joke without feeling guilty or victimized.
RM: What is one fact about yourself that people might not know having only seen you do stand-up comedy or television?
KG: I’m a good kisser.
RM: What’s up next for you in the remainder of 2014 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
KG: I’m currently working on a pilot with a few other comics called #TRNDINGNEWS – it’s the “Daily show” of current events. “The Daily Show” covers politics, we cover trending news.
Official Website: http://kylegrooms.net/
Kyle on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kyle.grooms
Kyle on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kylegrooms
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