If you’re familiar with local comedians then you may already know Darrel Bradford. Going by the stage name of Lil Darrel The Comedian, he has already begun to make a name for himself. The 31-year-old is from the Southwest side of Houston, Texas. He is a graduate of Lamar High School and Lamar University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication. These days, you can catch him around town making audiences erupt with laughter either by himself or with his group, The Comic Cru, with three fellow comedians, Mc Lotto, Ray Etc., and Leroy Tha Third.
Did you always plan on becoming a comedian and if not what made you do so?
No. I always wanted to be an entertainer, but more as an actor. Comedy came after an incident in my life occurred. I could’ve been dead. The fact I made it through and avoided major trouble and death let me know I’m here for a reason. At an old job, I was approached about an opportunity to do a comedy show by a coworker. Things went well and one show turned into six.
Did you get into the practice of writing down your jokes and routine?
When I started I didn’t write my jokes out and I still don’t. In the beginning, the audience would be mostly family and friends, so my material would be about situations they already had knowledge of. My jokes are based on my life and personal experience. My style is just to go off the top.
Are there any other comedians that you know that do not write their material.
Not that I know of, myself. I run into people who have seen my shows and they ask me to tell a joke they’ve heard and it takes me a while to even remember because I’m performing from scratch.
How long have you been doing this?
This summer will make six years
What were you doing before this?
I was working as a Quality Control Agent for Bank of America, a substitute teacher, and a furniture salesman.
Do you have any influences?
No. I never inspired to be a comedian so I never studied anyone. It just happened naturally. My influence is life.
Who are your favorite comedians?
Bernie Mac, Martin Lawrence, and Richard Pryor in that order.
Is there any comedian, living or dead, you would like to work with?
One that I would want to talk to is Lil Duval.
But not work with him?
I would work with him, of course, but I want to pick his brain. He was able to use the platform of Comic View to build a fan base, achieve longevity, but still be comfortable. I want to still go to Wal-mart or Chili’s and be able to enjoy myself and not be bombarded but still be respected as one of the best. In my opinion, he has been able to do that and that’s a goal of mine. When the barbershop debate starts, I want to be mentioned!
What do think about what’s going on with Mo’Nique and Netflix?
I’m a bit on the fence. It’s simply how she worded her message to the public. Maybe instead of saying she is “the most decorated comedian”, she could’ve said “most decorated female comedian” or “black female comedian”. The response would’ve been different. She also should’ve humbled herself at the negotiation. If it was a negotiation for acting, then I could understand her point of view because she has an Oscar, but this was a comedy special. In her case, she hasn’t dropped anything relevant in comedy, as far as stand up, in a while.
So, what’s next for Houston’s own? He will be performing at The Houston Improve on February 21st at 8 pm with admission at $20 per ticket. He will also be hosting the Rising Star Awards to celebrate African-Americans in film, TV, and radio on February 24th at 7 pm, honoring Rudy Rush, Amir Diamond, and others at HCC’s west loop campus. (5601 W Loop S.)