"I do comedy part-time, but I'm a full- time pimp," says comedian Bruce Bruce. (The name, he maintains, appears on his birth certificate).
Although the six-foot, one-inch, 350-pound Atlanta native (and father of three) insists he's merely joshing, you can't help but think that, in the back of this dude's mind, he really considers himself a straight-gangsta mack. He certainly dresses like a player, in shiny, single-breasted suits that he designs himself. (His taste for dapper threads is probably the main reason why fellow Atlanta residents OutKast recruited Bruce to appear as a slick preacher in their "So Fresh, So Clean" video.)
But alas, he's not a pimp, but a comedian. "Everybody was telling me to do it," remembers Bruce, who quit his job as a salesman for Frito-Lay to pursue his newfound calling.
Bruce Bruce with Arnez J.
Arena Theatre, 7326 Southwest Freeway
Saturday, August 25; $30 to $35. For more information, call 713-629-3700 or 713-988-1020.
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The only thing Bruce Bruce is pitching these days is the latest season of BET's Comic View, which he will host this year, beginning in September. "I've been doing Comic View since it started ten years ago," he says. "What they do is they just pick the most qualified one [to be host]." This may explain why past emcees D. L. Hughley and Cedric the Entertainer did more inventive material than hackneyed jokes about how differently black people and white people use the toilet.
"That's the biggest problem that we have now," Bruce says. "Comedians take part of your joke and make another joke out of it -- and it's your joke."
Bruce prefers to separate himself from the pack with observational humor. "I do everyday life," he says, "which makes me step out totally different than the average comedian." Though he claims to have "nobody's style but my own," you do see hints of old-school comics Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor, with a touch of Rodney Dangerfield and even Alan King.
Just goes to show that stealing from one comic is plagiarism, but stealing from many is genius.