Actor and comic Brandon T. Jackson will come to Parlor Live Comedy Club next weekend.
You may recognize Jackson from the Hulu series “Deadbeat” or the final season of “Californication” in which he played Hashtag, the comedian-turned-difficult-star of the fictional show-within-the-show “Santa Monica Cop.”
The role was a knowing wink to the ultimately unsuccessful pilot for a “Beverly Hills Cop” television series, which would have starred Jackson as Axel Foley’s son. In the episode, Eddie Murphy reprised his role as Foley, who had risen to chief of Detroit Police. Jackson said Murphy was probably the most valuable performer he could work with, as one of the ultimate examples of a comic-turned-actor.
Jackson, 30, was born and grew up in the Detroit metropolitan area, the fifth of seven children. He began performing stand-up at local shows as a teenager and occasionally appeared in guest roles on television. His father, televison evangelist Wayne T. Jackson, was an executive producer on Jackson’s first movie “Nikita Blues.” After graduating West Bloomfield High, he moved to Los Angeles, where he began performing at the Laugh Factory and pursuing more roles. He received the Black Reel Award for Best Breakthrough Performance in “Roll Bounce,” which led to more roles in what he called the “urban movie” market before leading to mainstream roles in films like the “Percy Jackson” films and “Tropic Thunder.”
“You know, the cool thing about doing a movie like (“Tropic Thunder”) is it’s such a learning experience,” he said. “Learning from (Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black) was such a good experience.”
During his busiest years as an actor, his stand-up went to the backburner. He was adamant that he wasn’t “back” — he never left, he said — but he’s spent the past three years focusing on touring and building up the all-important hour of material for a special. Before that, he gained life experiences, such as raising his daughter as a single father, that have led to what he believes to be stronger material.
“Being on a movie set all day, that’s not very relatable. But raising a daughter is,” he said.
He continued: “Before I was a boy, now I’m a man developing real material. And there’s a difference between jokes and material. Jokes are just, like, looking at little funny things and pointing them out. Material is storytelling. Material has callbacks, structure… you’re telling a story with a beginning, middle and end.”
Jackson has a special forthcoming. He said he couldn’t talk about details yet, but that it would be about the absurdities of life in Hollywood as a father from the Midwest.
He will perform at the Parlor Live Comedy Club in Bellevue Aug. 28-30.