Illustration: Franziska Barczyk
This week, we’re spotlighting 24 talented writers and performers for Vulture’s annual slate “Comedians You Should and Will Know.” Our goal is to introduce a wider audience to the talents that rock the comedy community and the industry. (You can learn more about our methodology by clicking the link above.) We asked the comedians on the list to answer a series of questions about their work, performances, goals for the future, and more. The next step is Alex English.
What would be your real housewives slogan be?
“I sometimes hit rock bottom, but I still come out on top. »
What work do you think you are best known for and what are you most proud of?
Probably best known for writing about Saturday Night Live. What I’m most proud of is the set I did the other night at the Comedy Cellar. The set wasn’t perfect, but there was a new WNBA joke I said I was sure I would die a miserable death.
Tell us a story from your childhood that you think explains why you ended up becoming an actor.
I was 5 years old the first time I went on stage in front of an audience. My kindergarten class was hosting a Black History Month presentation for our parents, and I was given the role of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I wasn’t supposed to learn the whole speech; all I had to do was say, “I’m Martin Luther King and I have a dream.” However, what came (nervously) out of my mouth, in front of the entire auditorium, was, “I’m Martin Luther King…and I have to pee. The first big laugh I’ve ever had.
If a network greenlighted a semi-autobiographical series you would star in tomorrow, what would your character’s name and job be?
Ricky. And he runs an etiquette school for teens that he started with money he earned from OnlyFans.
If you had to go on stage for one song for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Entrance theme by Stone Cold Steve Austin. The original one.
Tell us all about your worst show.
Imagine: Harlem, 2014. Monday evening. Mocha Lounge. Before booking this place, I had been informed of what the audience would be. I remember comics warning me, “Listen, sometimes they pay attention and most of the time they don’t.” So I went there, very eager to conquer them. Needless to say I failed. The thing with Moca Lounge is (or was? No idea if they’re still open) you’re not only bombing, but you’re bombing during a Knicks game, making for a more tense comedy show than any heckler could never. In my case, I ended up dealing with both.
I was finishing another gay sex story or something when right next to me this old black man is shouting, “Yeah, bruh, okay. You’re gay, but what else? *Insert “NeNe Leakes Reacting To Kim Zolciak Singing” Meme Here.* Worst show ever, but I can’t lie, if it wasn’t for this guy, I’d probably still be bombing hard these days.
Name a comedian you don’t know personally who you think deserves wider recognition and why.
Michael Wolf. Yes, she’s already famous and I know her a bit, although I wouldn’t say “personally”, you know? Michelle is already there, but to me she is one of the funniest comedians around today and deserves more, more, more.
As for your opinions on comedy – on material, performance, audience, industry, etc. – on which hill will you die?
“It should be about 50 people laughing and 50 people being horrified.” -Patrice O’Neal
What is a seriously embarrassing goal you have?
I always have this idea in my head that I will learn to sing and play the piano, and if none of that works, pole dancing.
What’s the best comedic advice and then the worst comedic advice you’ve ever received, either when you were just starting out or more recently?
The best humorous advice I’ve ever received is “Never take advice”, and the worst advice I’ve ever received is advice.