Comedian Dawan Owens sits down with one of the most original comedians you’ll ever meet, Tony Woods.

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Interview with Comedian Tony Woods
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Fantasia BarrinoComedian Dawan Owens sits down with one of the most original comedians you’ll ever meet, Tony Woods. Tony's many appearances include HBO’s Def Jam, Last Comic Standing, A&E’s Caroline’s Comedy Hour, Showtime At the Apollo, NBC’s Friday Night Videos, Just For Laughs and N.Y.P.D. Blue, to name a few. Born in North Carolina, Tony was raised in the D.C. area and currently resides in Silver Spring, Md., and is now touring Europe and the Middle East, bringing his unique brand of comedy to audiences around the world.

Dawan: What’s Up T. Woods?

Tony: What’s up man how you feel?

Dawan: You know first I gotta ask you man. What year did you take that picture? Ha ha ha

Tony: That was for a soap opera called “Bad Guy,” back in 1994, and I have to add it was their jacket… they made me wear that thing. I was supposed to be a bad guy.

Dawan: No but seriously, it seems like a lot of people for some strange reason have never heard of Tony Woods. Why do you think that is?

Tony: Lack of publicity, obscurity and traveling a lot. I have made a big mark in Australia, Holland and through out the United Kingdom. I was offered a show in Holland and I consulted with my family—they didn’t want to move there so I didn’t either. At the same time, I had a deal in the works with Universal that got all dirtied up, but we won’t talk about that.

Dawan: For those who don’t know tell them a little bit about yourself. How long have you been in the game?

Tony: I have been in the game since Def Comedy Jam has been around and a little longer, we don’t have to put an exact number on it or anything do we? But I am still here and going strong.

Dawan: Now you have been in the game “blank” years, who were some of the comedians that inspired you when you were starting out?

Tony: None of them, I am not from any particular school of comedy and I don’t use a formula I just get out there and do me. Some people say that you remind me of this person or that person but if they do their homework they will see that they remind them of me.

Dawan: Ok, let me also ask you this, with all the accomplishments you have under your belt is there anything left that you are still dying to do?

Tony: Yes, feature films. I haven’t done one film but would like to get into a film.

Dawan: I’m going to just go on and put it out there. There is a rumor, out there floating around, and has also confirmed by other comedians, that David Chappelle got a lot of his inspiration from you—that’s why your styles are so similar? Is there any truth to that?

Tony: Yeah there is some truth, but he is not the only one, a lot of other comedians have adapted my style, he just happens to be the richest and is the most well known…a household name. God bless them all.

Dawan: I remember one night when I first started out. I got a chance to do the room over there at Lulus and I was all types of messed up ha ha ha. Sitting a table with like a hundred pieces of paper trying to figure out what jokes to do that night, and you came over to me and snatched the papers out of my hand!! Let me go on the record by saying I didn’t appreciate it then, but you said something to me that night that I will always remember. You said, ‘Man you don’t need these, just be yourself, talk about whatever is going with you, you don’t need no jokes,’ or something to that affect. What did you mean by that?

Tony: I meant just what you said, there was no code to figure out…you said it pretty well, be yourself. Wasn’t no brail, secret code, nothing to figure out, it was right there… what I said.

Dawan: Any advice for younger comedians like my self or even any one who is maybe considering trying their hand at stand-up one day?

Tony: I don’t have no advice for folks. It is different for each person and going to vary from person to person. No one really gave me advice so I don’t have any particular words of advice for anyone, I am not a guru or Yoda, but if something comes up I will tell ya, like when I talked to you. My advice when given seems to help a lot of people, but not me. I never thought about charging anyone for advice but maybe I should.

Dawan: If you weren’t a comedian what would you be doing right now?

Tony: I don’t know, probably drillin and fillin some cavities, I was slated to go to dental school. I probably would have been a depressed boring dentist with rubber gloves, trying to get extra suction from my assistant.

Dawan: What was the worst set you have ever had?

Tony: A live one in Detroit at the House of Comedy a couple months ago wasn’t good, I went on after a guy named Foolish and they “ripped it down!” I just got back from Scottland and my style was different and I couldn’t lock it in…those guys were in the zone and I just couldn’t lock it. I kept myself alive like a boxer, I was beaten down but never hit the canvas….I rope-a-doped them the whole time.

Dawan: Best set you have ever had?

Tony: Mostly all the other ones, but probably the Def Jams and the last Comic View and some ones that weren’t televised where ladies were just throwing their panties, standing ovations and times when I just look back and say “damn was that really me?” It is hard to point out one particular show.

Dawan: Have you ever turned down a gig?

Tony: Yeah, I do it all the time. Usually it is from promoters who have done me wrong in the past.

Dawan: Now I see that you are doing this show called “DC’s Heavy Hitters”, February 19 at the Historical Lincoln Theatre. I guess I’m just lightweight because I didn’t get invited to do the show. Ha ha ha. No but the line up looks crazy–it’s you, Marc Patrick, Todd Rexx (also known as T-Rexx), and Chris Thomas. How were you guys able to put together this type of line-up?

Tony: I didn’t put this together, the promoter, put this together….I guess he thought we were the Heavy Hitters of Comedy in DC.

Dawan: You know I gotta ask right? Who is the biggest Heavy Hitter in the line-up?

Tony: The promoter….he’s the mack in the back we’re the chumps in the front. Don’t ever forget someone pays Michael Jordan’s salary too.

Dawan: T.Woods, I just want to thank you for taking the time to sit down with me to give us some insight into your life.

Tony: Thanks and goodbye