Deon Cole Delivers the ‘Cole Blooded’ Truth
With an impressive resume that includes Conan, Black-ish, Angie Tribeca, and Barbershop 3, comedian and actor Deon Cole has mastered the art of keeping it real in a way that’s teaching you how to have some “act right” all while making you laugh.
Cole debuted his first hour-long Comedy Central special, “Cole Blooded Seminar,” last month, and is already preparing for his second one. According to the funnyman, his special is a lesson in laughter that’s sure to keep viewers in hysterics as Cole teaches you how to “manage your blackness,” and make you question if you’re “thicker than cold peanut butter.”
JET caught up with Cole to chat about his “Cole Blooded Seminar,” Black-ish, and lessons he’s learned along the way.
JET: Your debut one hour Comedy Central special, “Cole Blooded Seminar,” premiered in June, but what took you so long to do a special?
Deon Cole: Well I’ve been busy filming Angie Tribeca, which airs on TBS, as well as Barbershop 3, and ABC’s Black-ish, as well as still doing bits on Conan. So between all that I had no time. I also had tour dates that I would go on and I’ve been scouting for talent for diversity at TBS.
JET: How would you describe your style of comedy?
Cole: Conversational and observational humor. Basically, you are going to laugh, love, and learn.
JET: You left Black-ish, mid-season but then reappeared later. What happened?
Cole: I have another show on TBS called Angie Tribeca, written and produced by Steve and Nancy Carell, and stars Rashida Jones and myself. I had that show before I had Black-ish. So I was going over to Black-ish to write since I had a break from Conan and I was waiting for Angie Tribeca to start. The person that was supposed to play Charlie didn’t show up so Kenya Barris, the creator, asked me to play that character because he knew that I knew how to write that character. So, when Black-ish blew up, I still had to go do my other show.
JET: Is Charlie coming back for season 3?
JET: Why do you think Charlie is such a lovable character?
Cole: I’m really not even sure. (laughs) I think it’s just the fact that he’s so far left. He’s mysterious, yet he makes sense in his own world. That character is actually the creator of the show, Kenya Barris. Kenya’s not weird, he’s just a unique individual.
JET: What are some lessons that you’ve learned throughout your career?
Cole: Conan taught me that we all chase these magical moments in our careers, and in our lives, but if every moment was magical, then we wouldn’t have magical moments. So, you have to understand that failure is a part of life and it’s not something you should look down on and it gives you the anticipation of what’s to come. Being on Conan, you’re doing it live in the studio in front of an audience of 300 people and millions are tuned in, so I learned to be on. Even if I’m messing up I learned how to make it not look like I am because it’s live. So on other shows I try to only do 2-3 takes because I know how to master the scene. From Steve Carell I learned how to love and cherish the moment. Kenya taught me just to be me. Anthony Anderson taught me to be fearless. Ice Cube taught me that you just have to connect with audiences, and the best way to connect is to be real, and when you’re real there’s less rehearsal. Chris Rock taught me that your choices are going to dictate where you are in life.
JET: What do you think others learn from you?
Cole: I hope they know that I care, and because I care I want to see other people succeed. I want people to go through life saying the reason I’m doing this is because I talked to Deon one day. You don’t even have to tell me that you are inspired by me or I triggered something in you, I’ll feel it.
I ain’t no deep dude talking about the universe is going to show me the way (laughs); but I’m saying that I’ll know because other people will come to me and say, “Respect.”
I’m not a preacher but I say things in a way that’s different. In my special I tell people they need to eat better so I tell them just stop eating that sh**, you know how it tastes. That might resonate with someone way better than them going to read a self-help book.
JET: How can folks check out your Comedy Central special “Cole-Blooded Seminar?”
Cole: You can get it On Demand or get the album and stream on iTunes.