Don’t inform JB Smoove that he has to cancel the artwork made by his comedy heroes who’ve fallen from grace. On this week’s episode of “Renaissance Man,” the funnyman greatest referred to as Leon on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” admitted he nonetheless watches outdated Bill Cosby films and mentioned it’s onerous to erase what as soon as gave him motivation.
“If someone has disappointed you, the one thing you can’t give back is the inspiration that they gave you, because it was before their downfall,” he advised me.
“I used to love me some Bill Cosby,” he mentioned. “This man is just sitting there telling stories. Amazing. And I don’t know if I can stop watching ‘Uptown Saturday Night.’ If I’m turning channels and it’s on, I can’t be like, ‘Oh man, Bill f–ked up, I can’t watch it no more.’ It’s etched in our upbringing.”
I’ve identified JB for years and have most likely seen him carry out near 30 instances. He holds very sturdy opinions, however he’s so humorous and disarming that he isn’t one to alienate an viewers or step on any toes. JB is for everybody. So if he offends you, it’s your fault.
Sure, he’s ridiculously humorous, fast witted, gifted, fashionable and most likely owns extra hats than anybody in Hollywood. But he’s a person who prepares like loopy, and he abides by very sturdy philosophies. One is “Never be the first to do it.”
“You can be the first one to be successful at it, but you don’t have to be the first person to try it,” JB mentioned. “You just gotta be the first person to master that s–t … You’re not slighting anyone who did it before you.”
After all, he famous, Michael Jackson wasn’t actually the primary particular person to moonwalk. The transfer’s origins have been attributed to a variety of acts. And Michael Chambers, aka Turbo from “Breakin’,” was doing a model of it already when he labored with Michael, who then tailored it together with his specific taste.
JB, too, has a knack for bringing his personal taste to every thing he does. But he’s additionally a scholar of his craft.
And at instances, Larry David has been his instructor. JB is a “Saturday Night Live” alum, and he mentioned that when he arrived on the “Curb” set, he performed Leon like he would in an “SNL” scene. After his first take, Larry advised him to play it extra “real” and much less like a sketch.
“Once I did that, it was off to the races. Even after our first day together, [Larry] said it felt as though we had been working together for years.”
But he desires to set the document straight. JB shouldn’t be Leon Black, and doesn’t stroll round in sandals, shorts and a do-rag telling folks he’s gonna kick their ass.
“Sometimes when you improvise, people think that’s you all the time. A lot of times the actors on ‘Curb,’ who are amazing actors, they will get stuff [from fans] like, ‘That’s you. You’re playing yourself, you’re not doing a character,’ which is totally wrong. No one could possibly live like Leon. You can’t live like that.”
JB’s been doing improv since highschool. But he mentioned taking an improv class early on in his profession added worth to all features of his life, not simply in showbiz. He recommends it for anybody and everybody, no matter your business.
“I tell people all the time, I don’t care what you do, take an improv class,” he mentioned. “You can sell houses. If you have the ability to improvise your way into s–t and out of s–t, it’s the greatest gift you could ever have. You know, it gives you that immediate gift of gab, it gives you something to go to. It gives you a recovery … I tell young people all the time, ‘Before you jump into business, take an improv class. Take it. I promise. Put that in your tool box.’ I’m telling you, it will help you in your business, help you in your personal [life], help you to be able to change gears in the moment, man. It’s an amazing tool to have.”
I’m presently googling improv courses as I write this, and I hope JB will likely be my tutor.
But I additionally want I bought an opportunity to be a visitor on his outdated MSG present, “Four Courses With JB Smoove,” the place he chopped it up over dinner with athletes and comedians. I requested which comedians, lifeless or alive, could be his dream dinner companions. His illustrious record: Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Eddie Murphy and Dave Chappelle.
“I took a back seat on that one because, you know, this is normally four people and I make the fifth, but I picked five just now,” JB mentioned. “So I’ll be the one serving them and pouring Champagne, just listening to what they’re talking about. Let me stay a little longer: ‘Would there be anything else, sir?’ That’s an amazing mix of who inspired me.”
JB is returning the favor within the inspiration division, and slowly realizing his personal legacy. Case in level: I requested him concerning the 2001 cult traditional “Pootie Tang,” which he starred in alongside Chris Rock. It was panned by Roger Ebert, however has taken on a lifetime of its personal.
“The movie is definitely not perfect. The movie is definitely funny and fun, but it’s got to be your thing,” he mentioned.
JB mentioned that in May, he obtained an honorary doctorate from Norfolk State University, the place he additionally delivered the graduation speech.
“I’m just sitting onstage and all these amazing students are coming by and getting their diplomas,” he mentioned. One younger man got here onstage, grabbed his diploma and dropped a line from “Pootie Tang” on JB.
“I was laughing so hard, I was crying. That’s why I say it’s hard to erase things that motivate and influence you. People just love what they love. This kid is young and he’s talking about a movie older than him.”
And JB additionally unapologetically loves what he loves. That consists of the New York Knickerbockers. Don’t ask him to leap on any Nets bandwagon.
“Everybody knows, man, win or lose, the Knicks run New York. Win or lose. It doesn’t matter. This is a Knick town. We’ll take the Knicks bad news over the Nets good news,” he mentioned, including that though he can stroll to Barclays Center from his dwelling, he gained’t go there to look at the Nets play, except they’re taking over the Knicks.
But the truth is each groups have been eradicated from the playoffs, so it’s a moot level for now. Let’s transfer on to extra essential issues: getting JB and Samuel L. Jackson on a mission collectively. Sam is the one particular person with whom he desires to work.
They met for the primary time on the “Spider-Man: Far From Home” crimson carpet and clicked.
“We talked and we hugged each other like, ‘This is the greatest thing on earth’ … I said, ‘Man, we gotta do something together’ … I think together we would hurt somebody … He said, ‘We gotta do it, JB.’”
So Sam, give JB a name. We can’t look forward to this energy duo to affix forces.
Detroit native Jalen Rose is a member of the University of Michigan’s iconoclastic Fab Five, who shook up the school hoops world within the early ’90s. He performed 13 seasons within the NBA, earlier than transitioning right into a media persona. Rose is presently an analyst for “NBA Countdown” and “Get Up,” and co-host of “Jalen & Jacoby.” He government produced “The Fab Five” for ESPN’s “30 for 30” sequence, is the creator of the best-selling guide, “Got To Give the People What They Want,” a vogue tastemaker, and co-founded the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a public constitution college in his hometown.