Rodney Carrington, a 5' 7" from Longview (Texas) does indeed speak with a drawl and wear a cowboy hat. And he is funny as hell. "Nobody influenced me and I don't think there's anybody like me," he asserts with typical self-assurance.
Initially, Rodney Carrington aspired to be an actor. He stumbled across his nascent comic talent while appearing in a junior college production of the play "Noises off". "It was then that I realized how great the feeling of laughter from an audience was," he recalls. "I started ad-libbing my lines during the play. The director was kind of irritated with me, but at the same time he was laughing." Without a clue as to what lay ahead, he auditioned for a comedy night at an inconsequential Longview club called Sparky's Bar and Grill one night in the late 1980's. "I was scared shitless," he guffaws. "I was an idiot. I was awful! I was only 20 and I had to lie about my age to get in, and I must have had seven or eight Jack and Cokes before I hit the stage. But even though it was all kind of a blur, and what I was doing then bears no resemblance to what I'm doing now, I left that night knowing that's where I belonged." The next six or eight years were a rigorous, often brutal apprenticeship as he learned his craft by trial and error and clawed his way up through the ranks of would-be comic stars. "I'd drive for hours for a 75-buck gig," he recalls. "Drive 12 hours, hop out, tell a few jokes and drive 12 hours more. I'd sleep in my camper truck at rest stops and eat Beanie Weenies out of a can. But looking back, I don't remember those as bad times. It was just something I had to do."
As Carrington kept grinding away, the money got better ("I've really been on a roll these past few years," he says proudly), and so did he. His material began to take on a more vivid, aggressive, comic-confessional, no-holds-barred edge. "I never sit down and write anything," he explains. "It's spontaneous. I start by taking an idea up on stage and kicking it around and end up going in whichever direction with it. I have a tendency under pressure to become more creative. When I'm on stage it's almost like being a boxer," he adds eagerly. "Boom-boom-boom-boom! You hit 'em and jab 'em and stick 'em and kinda toy with 'em a little bit! When it's happening, man, when you get the crowd rockin', there's nothing like it! It's an unbelievable feeling!" For the past few years his performance at many of the USA's top comedy venues (bolstered by his exposure on nationally syndicated radio programs such as "The Bob and Tom Show", "John Boy and Billy", "Steve and DC" and others) have been selling out. He has also appeared on NBC's "Friday Night Video" and the Arts and Entertainment Channel's "Friday Night at the Improv". He was featured at the prestigious Montreal Comedy Festival in 1996 - one of 20 new faces invited to appear that year from around the USA and Canada. Carrington's already got a quite a following, evidenced by his many sold out shows and record sales.
His CD LIVE (C'MON LAUGH YOU BASTARDS) on Platinum Nashville marks the second major label release for Rodney and features material from the early years of Rodneyism! "I realized early on that I'm not gonna please everybody, and I don't intend to, "he says with good-natured defiance. "I enjoy what I'm doing, and fortunately there's a lot of people out there who love it, too." Although the album follows his hugely successful HANGIN' WITH RODNEY, it was actually recorded first. As Rodney states, "Hell, the trend in movies now is to release the sequel first, so figured why not music? I guess you could call this the prequel CD." The material was recorded in 1995 during an era Rodney jokingly refers to as the "Beenie weenie years". LIVE definitely captures the "raw" Rodney so to speak. It contains material that'll sneak up on you and sucker punch you, have you roaring with laughter before you even know what hit you, You will also experience that special rush of recognition and familiarity that comes when you slap your side and tell yourself, "Boy, ain't that just the way it is! I've sure been there before!" Rodney's first music video "Dancin' with a man" is currently still airing on cable channels such as Great American Country. Famous comic Carrot Top who is also Rodney's good natured friend, plays a hysterical role as the "woman" in the song which has been voted best video several times since its release last year. A new video of the song "Fred" has just been syndicated radio personalities, Bob and Tom.
"What I do best is make people laugh, "he insists. "There's no bullshit or hidden messages around what I do, and like I said, I've got no apologies for it. My main message is: Lighten up! Don't be so serious about stuff! Enjoy yourself, for God's sake! Life is entirely too short!" As you give Carrington a lighthearted listen, you may well find yourself spending quite a bit more of your life laughing! Toss your pretenses and political correctness out the window! "C'mon, Laugh You Bastards!" - "I talk about real issues. I just talk about what people - particularly me - think about, whether they want to admit it or not. And most people seem to relate to it," he adds. "Maybe the women tend to think, Oh, that's just Rodney. And the guys say, I'd kinda like to drink a beer with him! Sometimes I'll see people out there trying their damnedest not to laugh, but sooner or later most of 'em crack. I tell folks, Even if you think you don't like me, you still like me."