Q and A with ...Robert Townsend

Q and A with ...


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September 23, 2004|By Sam Sessa | By Sam Sessa,SUN STAFF

When it comes to show business, Robert Townsend knows all the angles. HeM-Fs acted, directed and produced both movies and television shows. In his spare time (ha!), Townsend also tours the standup circuit. Tonight, he begins a three-night run at the Baltimore Comedy Factory.

What are you working on these days?

I took over a television network. IM-Fm running the secondlargest African-American network to BET. ItM-Fs called the Black Family Channel [MBC on Comcast, to be renamed Black Family Channel next month]. IM-Fm the new president and CEO [of Productions]. IM-Fm working on television shows, and IM-Fve also been chilling and doing my one-man show [which is] kind of like based on my life. I started in Chicago in the hood, and IM-Fve always made movies and television, and I have a hell of a story.

Because IM-Fve done all kinds of stuff from sitcoms to variety shows, if there was anybody ever born to program a television network, itM-Fs me. IM-Fve been having fun, itM-Fs a lotta hard work.

Where do you get the ideas for your projects and your comedy routine?

They basically come to me. Right now, what IM-Fm gonna do when I come [to Baltimore], IM-Fm gonna do stuff about my kids. I have four kids. I talk about my childhood vs. their childhood and just life. Where we are right now with voting politics, me as an artist, America and what my fans say to me.

... I love a live audience. ItM-Fs kinda of like being on a high wire because you never know whatM-Fs gonna happen, but I love feeling the audience. IM-Fm a little naked when I go out there because IM-Fm talking about me. IM-Fm talking about my life. My marriage didnM-Ft work so I talk a little bit about going through a divorce and what thatM-Fs like. [The show is] fun, and itM-Fs really scary, man, but thatM-Fs what makes life.

... You gotta be a big kid, because itM-Fs all about being creative. ItM-Fs all about being good. IM-Fm excited about coming to Baltimore. IM-Fm ready to give my 128 percent.

How much of your success do you attribute to your mustache?

All of it. Without it I look like a big rat.

Robert Townsend performs at the Baltimore Comedy Factory at 8:30 p.m. tonight, 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. The venue is at 36 Light St. Call 410-547-7798 for ticket information.

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