Affion Crockett may enjoy Jay-Z and Kanye’s Watch The Throne, but he’s been more focused on trying to occupy it as comedy’s new king. The Fayetteville, N.C. native has taken his experiences literally “Wild ‘n Out” with Nick Cannon and on Youtube to plant his has flag on network TV.
“I got started as a kid doing voices of what I saw on TV,” says the actor and writer who has roles in Dance Flick, Soul Men and Universal Remote in his resume. “Fast way forward to Wild ‘n Out and people know me as the dude that does the killer Jay-Z impersonation. When MTV did Short Circuits we tapped ’em with sketch comedy but we didn’t go all the way. When the MTV situation was over I went to Youtube and started producing all of them on line.”
With the internet providing an ideal testing ground for his ideas, Affion had free reign to fill a void in comedy. Almost overnight he established an allegiance of followers.
“When I did the videos online they caught on really fast, especially the hip-hop parodies, he says of the classic impressions of Jay-Z, Ludacris and Lil Wayne. “So 40 million views later I got with my boy Carl Jones, he’s a producer on The Boondocks. He and I went to HS together in North Carolina. He came to me and said we should do a sketch show. So we compiled a reel of all the stuff from Youtube and took it to Fox. They said we want it, we’re with it. Let’s go.”
“In The Flow” premieres this Sunday August 14th on Fox and Affion came to TheUrbandaily offices to give us five reasons that we all should tune in.
1) The Comedic Family Tree
“In The Flow is the nephew to “In Living Color.” I’ve studied the Wayans’, I’ve worked with them. They’ve given me the stamp on my back to say that I’m the next generation of sketch comedy. I wear that proudly. If you saw me on Wildin’ Out with Nick Cannon it’s that same Hip-Hop based energy that’s appealing to everybody. I come out live in front of the audience and do a sketch, then do the pre-tape stuff where I transform into all of these people. It’s crazy.“
2) Only Black show on Network TV
“This is the only Black show on network TV. It’s a sad statistic but I take on the responsibility with full confidence. If that’s where God wanted me to be at this time to break doors back down to come back to network TV I feel no pressure at all because I know I can make people laugh. We crafted this show to make people laugh. I’m ready. Bring it on.”
3) No Disrespect
“Drake, Jay-Z and Russell love the impressions I do [of them]. 99% of the time the response is positive. I try not to be disrespectful. I keep it funny but respectful.”
4) Nothing Forced
“I latch on to either how popular the person is at the moment, how relevant they are to pop culture, and if I can nail the impression. If I can’t nail an impression I won’t do it.”
5) Comedy In The Raw
“There were some compromises throughout the taping but 90% of this show is just me going in. Where else are you going to find that raw comedy on TV? Even SNL, as great as they can be at times, they’re reading off of cue cards. It’s not spontaneous. They don’t give themselves room to be spontaneous. I’m a fan of SNL, but this is my moment to show my brand of comedy. That’s why it’s called “In The Flow.” It’s freestyle, it’s comedy in the moment. We definitely have some structure and scripts but for the most part you just gonna see me wile’ out.”
“In The Flow” premieres on August 14th on Fox. Check your local listings for times!