Benji Brown Dishes to JET
Unlike many rising comedians, Benji Brown was not booed off the stage during his debut performance. It wasn’t because he spent months working tirelessly on his jokes and animation in the mirror. Instead, he owed his success to one of his favorite comedians.
“This is a big no-no, but my first time on stage, I just recited Eddie Murphy’s Raw,” he admits. “Eddie’s jokes were tried and proven already!”
Brown thinks the audience recognized those famous punchlines, but they apparently didn’t mind. The crowd was impressed by his confidence and obvious memorization skills. After all, he had only received word that he’d be a part of the roster hours before showtime.
“A friend of mine gave me a business card of an agent, who told me to call him if I thought I was funny. After five or six months, I finally picked up the phone and said, ‘hey, I just wanted to let you know I’m funny. Ok, bye,'” he remembers. “But the agent told me he was picking me up that night, so he could put me on stage at the local comedy.”
Brown was nervous, but he didn’t show it. He put those feelings to the side. Good thing he did, because when he wrapped his set, folks were cheering.
“The people enjoyed it,” he says. “The agent thought I had potential, but he was like ‘hey, you can’t do that!'”
He may not have written his own skits for his first gig, but the Miami-native sure got the hang of it quickly.
Does the name Kiki ring a bell?
Oh yes! The loud-mouth, slick talking chick, whose makeup tutorials on YouTube have garnered more than five million views, has been bringing the funny for nearly two decades.
Kiki’s rise to stardom, however, wasn’t purposeful. Brown, who developed the voice before the name, was only documenting his surroundings.
“I think there are so many struggles that the Black woman has had to overcome throughout history, whether it’s raising children on their own, dealing with no-good men or having friends that are disloyal,” he explains. “You can touch on any of those topics, and you’re going to find a multitude of women who relate to it.”
The Comic View vet thinks everyone knows a “Kiki.” Plus, he believes people find humor in their pain. That’s why the character is such a hit.
“I don’t even have a name. I’m not called “Benji.” Everywhere I go people call me “Kiki,” and I answer,” he laughs. “That realization of her being that endeared has motivated me.”
Brown’s talents extend far beyond standup though. He’s appeared on MTV’s Nick Cannon presents Wild n’ Out and TV One’s The Rickey Smiley Show.
He has his eyes set on even more television and film projects too. And hotshots, like Lee Daniels, have their eyes set on him.
“There have been some projects presented, and I’m hoping that they will manifest and become a reality,” he reveals. “[Daniels and I] have been able to try to put our heads together to come up with a show based around Kiki.”
daniels isn’t the only heavy hitter the star has worked alongside. He previously joined forces with Chris Rock, Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer and Monique.
And Brown doesn’t plan on stopping there. He’s looking ahead at the road in front of him, while acknowledging the successes of his past.
“It’s been sweet. It’s been a good ride,” he says. “I’m excited, and I want to build upon it.”
Clearly, he has come a long way from quoting Murphy’s best wisecracks. He’s got his own now.
Just listen to a few below as he tries to help Kiki wiggle her way through a variety of scenarios.
Your best friend is sneaking around with your boyfriend…
After five years of employment, you’re fired from your job…
Someone owes you money…
A customer claims the Waffle House yellow eyeshadow from your makeup line gave her a rash…
For more of Benji Brown’s antics, follow him on Twitter @benjibrown1.