By LaShawn Williams, Chicago Defender Contributing Author
T. Murph, who reduce his enamel on Chicago’s comedy phases, is making noise on the planet of tv; with appearances on exhibits like “Chicago Fireplace” and “Key & Peele,” the Chicago-area native is now identified for his scene-stealing position as Clovis on the hit Hulu sitcom “Woke,” which lately wrapped up its second season.
When the comic and actor isn’t busy making folks giggle, he’s a faithful dad who enjoys the journey and pleasure of parenting. As we have fun Father’s Day, we spoke with T. Murph about sustaining roots in Chicago, discovering the humorous in fatherhood, and his perfect Father’s Day meal.
Chicago Defender: You bought your begin in Chicago’s comedy golf equipment however earlier than that, you have been a full-time barber. Why did you retire your clippers for a profession in stand-up?
T. Murph: I used to be a barber for about 15 years and all of my clients would all the time inform me that I missed my calling as a stand-up, primarily as a result of I might spend extra time cracking jokes than truly chopping their hair. They saved pushing me and telling me I ought to strive it and in the future, I gave it a shot, and now, right here we’re.
Chicago Defender: You preserve a Chicago residence and just like the late Bernie Mac, you haven’t relocated to Hollywood. Why have you ever chosen to nonetheless stay within the Windy Metropolis?
T. Murph: I’m a standup comic at coronary heart and I really feel like Chicago simply has among the finest comedy scenes. We [comedians] get a real and sincere evaluation of our standup whereas we’re performing right here. It’s not a type of issues the place the viewers is simply laughing since you are who you might be. They really need you to be humorous.
Chicago Defender: In your performances, you point out the stigma about dwelling in Chicago. When you do acknowledge the town has its fair proportion of points, you steadiness it out by presenting it in a humorous and relatable means. Speak about your acutely aware effort to carry the town down in your stand-up.
T. Murph: I tour all over the place so I see the issues that plague different cities. I used to be simply in Colorado and it was going down in Denver. To always hear that it’s so dangerous in Chicago—like, I don’t know what agenda the media has towards Chicago, however I’m actually in a special metropolis or state each week and it’s the identical factor. The information doesn’t shine a light-weight on these different locations. Chicago isn’t any worse than any of the remainder of these cities.
Chicago Defender: Your comedy journey has led to you touchdown a co-starring position on the Hulu sequence “Woke.” How did you grow to be a part of the present?
T. Murph: My supervisor and my agent [at the time] despatched me the script they usually wished me to initially learn for the position of Keef and once I noticed it, I didn’t actually determine with that individual position. My supervisor then requested, “Nicely, what about the perfect pal?” They despatched it over and I mentioned, “Yo, that is me.”
Chicago Defender: You star alongside fellow Chicago native Lamorne Morris, which places you within the membership with him and different funnymen like Craig Robinson, DeRay Davis and Lil’ Rel, who’ve all made their mark in tv. How does it really feel to belong to this Chicago comedy fraternity?
T. Murph: It’s surreal at instances to only be capable of speak to those brothers. It’s very dope to be part of all of this and to have that camaraderie with them.
Chicago Defender: Father’s Day is arising quickly. You’re a dad of youngsters with an age hole between them—what’s parenting like on this regard?
T. Murph: It’s totally different attempting to navigate all of it—that’s why I used to be late to this interview! I used to be placing my one-year-old down for a nap! [Laughs]
Chicago Defender: Infants will be fairly unbelievable and might shock their dad and mom with their innate skills. Has your one-year-old amazed you with something but?
T. Murph: Sure! Simply watching how youngsters are with expertise; for him to solely be one and already navigating cell telephones and iPads and all of these issues is loopy!
Chicago Defender: You point out your youngsters in your stand-up routines; as you recognize, not all comedians go this route. Speak about why you incorporate your youngsters into your act.
T. Murph: Nicely, I spend loads of time with them. However when you consider referring to the viewers, particularly individuals who have youngsters, we’re all going via the identical factor with TikTok and Instagram and YouTube. I really feel prefer it’s only one huge group remedy session as a result of all of us gotta get some stuff off our chest with regards to these youngsters!
Chicago Defender: What has been one of many funniest issues your youngsters have performed that made you giggle?
T. Murph: My oldest sons—them attempting to skip college—that’s the factor that will get me. I’m like, “You do know the college calls house and lets me know that you just’re not there, proper?” After which they attempt to act like I’m the loopy one and say, “No, I used to be there!” The trainer seemed out on the class, however didn’t see them. And what’s crazier is that they’re twins—meaning there are two of them—so he didn’t see both of them? They usually’re in the identical class? Come on, man…
Chicago Defender: Has your father influenced your parenting model in any respect? Have you ever taken any classes out of your dad now that you’ve got youngsters?
T. Murph: Simply being current and accessible and ensuring they know they will rely upon you, whatever the scenario, might be the most important lesson I’ve discovered.
Chicago Defender: What could be the proper Father’s Day for you?
T. Murph: I simply need some baked jerk hen. That’s it for me. I don’t want a lot.
Chicago Defender: That’s a simple request, however can your [older] youngsters prepare dinner, although?
T. Murph: No—however their mama can! So, if the children can put within the request that I need baked jerk hen, that’s all of the Father’s Day I would like.
For extra info on T. Murph, go to his web site.
LaShawn Williams is a Chicago-based author. Observe her on Twitter @MsWilliamsWorld.