“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it” Robin Williams. Over the decades framing the beginning of his career up to now, a lot has changed on the stand-up comedy scene. Aries Spears started in entertainment back in 1987 when he was fourteen; a time when legends such as Eddie murphy inspired younger black comedians in the US and advocated for the fairness and equal opportunities among comedians making it in the industry. Today, well it is still a tad bit difficult; the right of free speech and the use of true artistry is mostly censored for the benefit of political correctness. Among well known current comedians in America who still stay true to their art and way of life, stands our current interviewee.
It was a pleasure for us to interview Aries Spears and get to know him a little bit more.
Uyolo: Aries spears, you are still one of the most funny and relevant comedians known today. You have been in the game for almost thirty years now, started at fourteen do you feel like the comedy scene has drastically changed? How do you stay relevant and successful when political correctness now seem to matter more than opinion and artistry.
Aries Spears: I believe the game is only changed if you allow it to change you. At the end of the day were still in the business of funny and if people aren’t able to handle the material due to societal sensitivity then that’s what the exit sign is for! You could always get the fuck out. you have to figure out what your recipe is for success you should never let the business or anyone else define your success or your happiness.
Uyolo: Growing up, you looked up to comedians such as Jim Carrey do you still look up to other famous comedians, or have you reached a place where you only need to surpass yourself ? What celebrity do you kick it with on a regular basis?
Aries Spears: I’m not caught up in the community that is Hollywood which is to say I don’t kick it with celebrities. I know some celebrities and people who i cross paths with and can contact if I need to but I don’t call anyone of those guys friends. Friends help you bury a body! I admire Jim Carrey and respect Jim Carrey but I never said I looked up to him lol! The guys that inspire me and that influence me are Dave Chapelle & the late great Patrice O’Neal.
Uyolo: You are known all over the world for your famous impressions of Jay z and ll cool j as well as DMX, give us a little tip or secret on how to successfully do impressions.
Aries Spears: There is no tip on how to do an impression it’s just a God given gift like being able to sing and having an ear for music. Either you can hit the notes and be in key or you don’t and you can’t period!
Uyolo: In your recent interview with you gave your opinion on Kevin hart, saying that he is a great actor that has earned his current success, you personally have a lot going on, you have a podcast with Steinberg that’s been running since , you are also on tour right now but would you personally envision starting a movie career either in producing or acting?
Aries Spears: That’s a funny question, literally!! People often ask us that as though we have complete say and control. We all envision ourselves as big movie stars or TV stars but we are not the gatekeepers. Yes the climate has changed because of social media YouTube and other outlets where you can kind of create your own audience and develop your brand and with enough capital you can produce and create your own lane but the industry itself is still the big bully on the block.
Uyolo: Aries, you are beloved all over the world and despite some bad comments and controversies especially deriving from social media, you are still selling out shows; what is your secret to becoming a successful comedian?
Aries spears: I don’t know that there is a secret formula like I said everybody’s recipe is their own. But I think at the heart or at the base of it a lot of it is all about the work and the content and if you have a body of work and content that speaks honestly and relatable to people not to mention that’s funny as fuck that seems like the best bet.
Uyolo: Do you have a creative process before you get on stage? What could you see on stage that might grind your gears?
Aries Spears: I just zone out and listen to music and try to think about all the different possible scenarios of how it could go well or it might go wrong and just try and be prepared for both things either way. What grinds my gears is people who show up to a show wasted or you can clearly tell they have no live performance etiquette i.e. loud rude obnoxious.
Uyolo: Last but not least, you stand out because of your blunt honesty; would you rather live in a world where people are more honest with each other or one where people pamper each other and hide their feelings and flaws in order to be liked? That being answered, how do you make the comedy world a better place for the generations to come after you?
Aries Spears: Honesty!! Patrice O’Neal again one of the greatest comedians of all time said nothing beats the truth truth always wins! The sad part when it comes to Patrice is many believe he was on his way to finally getting where he deserved and unfortunately his untimely death put us in a place where we will never know. But also the unfortunate cruel and unfunny irony is that that same truth can also backfire on you ala Dave Chapelle‘s when keeping it real goes wrong! So I guess sometimes you have to lie every now and then. As far as making comedy great for the generations after me goes it’s scary because right now it feels like a crapshoot there are a lot of people who still crave honesty but we also are living in a very pampered moist era. I have to believe that at the end of the day substance matters truth matters so we just have to weather the storm of 58th place trophies in order to get back to what really counts which is first place & first place only!
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