Mon | Jul 15, 2019

Drew Thomas takes comedy seriously - Booked for Live Comedy Bar Special

Published:Wednesday | June 26, 2019 | 12:23 AMYasmine Peru/Gleaner Writer
Comedian Drew Thomas.
Comedian Drew Thomas.

For renowned comedian Drew Thomas, humour is serious business. Thomas believes that he is a vessel to be used and if he can make others laugh, then his living will not be in vain. “Life is rough enough, and if I can make you laugh and take the pain away, then I have done my job,” he told The Gleaner in an interview.

Thomas, who migrated to the Bronx, New York, with his family at age nine, says he thrives on irony and the very dry type of British humour. “TV at the time only had British shows,” the stand-up comic, who spent half of his childhood in Jamaica, stated. “Growing up in Jamaica, all we had locally was Miss Lou and Oliver. My father was always a very funny person and he did weddings, he and his childhood friend. Then when I went to the States, I later started watching Eddie Murphy,” he recalled.

And watching all these people perform helped to shape Thomas’ eventual journey into the world of comedy. When he made the decision to take comedy seriously, he pursued a second degree in theatre at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, before officially embarking on his career.

Very well established on the stand-up circuit, he has spent the last decade working on his craft and gathering numerous accolades along the way. He appeared on NBC’s Last Comic Standing (Seasons 6 & 9) and ‘The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson’. For three years, he was the opening act on Rodney Carrington’s Laughter’s Good tour playing countless theatres, arenas and casinos throughout the US and Canada.

“I also did a comedy special for Comedy All Stars on the faith-based Pure Flix, seen as the Christian version of Net Flix,” he said.

Thomas, who names Dave Chapelle as his favourite comedian, because he “is fearless, a great writer and will explore a topic beyond what a normal performer will”, has also opened for notable musical acts such as Salt N Pepa, Boyz II Men, Chaka Khan, Al Green, Jeffrey Osborne, Tito Jackson, MC Hammer, The Temptations, Morris Day and The Isley Brothers. He’s also appeared at over 75 colleges and universities. In addition to performing, he also produced two successful comedy series at California’s Morongo and Chumash casinos. His credits also include Gotham Comedy Live, Laughs on Fox and Comedy Club.

The Manchester native, who performed in Jamaica in 2010, at Come Mek We Laugh, is known for his face-hurting laughter, his keen retorts on everyday life, his quick wit and smooth delivery as he gives accounts of relationship follies. He is scheduled to appear this weekend at the third staging of Chris Daley’s ‘Johnny LIVE Comedy Bar Special’, to be held at the Shell Band Stand at Hope Gardens.

“I’m feeling excited to be performing in Jamaica,” he said, going on to relate how this gig came about. “I met Chris in Atlanta in Oliver And The Genie and then we did the show for the Children’s Hospital in 2009, so we have had a long association over the years,” the ‘big Oliver fan’ said.

Sunday’s Comedy Bar Special will be the third in a series over the last year. The first two featured international comedians Alfred Kainga and Shuler King. “Having the talents of Drew Thomas for the third Comedy Bar Special is undoubtedly a premium choice,” the organisers stated.

The Johnny LIVE Comedy Bar Special will also feature Dahlia Harris, Michael V and Chris ‘The Entertainer’ Larmond. It will be hosted by Ity Ellis.