Corey Manning | 8/19/2009, 9:59 a.m.
When David Alan Grier comes to Boston’s Wilbur Theatre this weekend, audiences can look forward to a great show filled with original, relevant, gut-busting material. The man known as “DAG” is not only a comedian’s comedian, but — as a graduate of the Yale School of Drama — also an entertainer’s entertainer, possessed of the ability to push any performance above and beyond even his own heightened expectations.
Grier took some time to speak with the Banner, offering some insight into the mind of a gifted and versatile actor, comedian, producer and now author, whose first book, “Barack Like Me: The Chocolate-Covered Truth,” is slated for release this October.
I checked out your new Web site (http://www.dagcomedy.com).
Finally! I’m like the last dude on Earth to finally get a Web site up and running.
You have the Web site. You’re on Facebook. Are you Twittering, too?
I’m working it out, man. Modern.
Are you able to keep up with all this new technology? Are you doing it yourself? And if someone wants to add you as a friend …
Definitely on Facebook. But on MySpace, not so much. And the Twittering stuff, I do myself. But I’m, like, under Twitter anxiety. People are like, “You have to be really funny.” And I’m like, “Really? I can’t be funny 800 times a day.” (laughs) … I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’m still getting used to the Twitter.
You were the creator and host of “Chocolate News” on Comedy Central. There were plenty of good stories and skits for us to talk about from the show, but for now, can you tell us about Blomicon?
(laughs) Blomicon. That was a tribute to all the black nerds. Actually, on “Chocolate News,” everything was based on [truth] … we’d start with reality and just go from there. The fact [is] that there are still more and more African American characters in comics, and all that kind of stuff … and [we made up] this guy who wanted to do his own [comic book] festival only for African American characters.
So when we went back and historically looked at it, [we discovered] that the way that black characters were depicted in early comic books were really racist. The original black characters were never heroes, and they would always get caught. They were racist, stereotypic caricatures of African Americans. So that’s an actual point of fact, and we started from there, and then tried to find the comedy in that. [From] that, there was this guy who was trying to do superhero things.
And the funny thing there is that every superhero — EVERY superhero — is always created the same. There’s a guy. He’s really despondent. He trips and falls into a vat of something that is nuclear-active. Or he gets hit by a meteor. He comes back … now he’s got super powers.
Or there’s a dude. He dies. He makes a pact with the devil. The devil brings him back to Earth. He [now] has magical powers. … So it’s [a take on how] every single person, every single hero, had the same story.