Comedian Robert Powell has joined the lineup of the 2012 Shaq’s All Star Comedy Jam, which is coming to Boston on Friday, November 16, at The Wilbur Theatre. Powell, an award winning comic from Louisiana, has won a number of comedy competitions including Louisiana’s Comedian of the Year 3 years in a row, and recently faced the tough decision of walking away from a career in politics to pursue his love of comedy. Powell’s act managed to stand out over dozens of other comedians, gaining him a spot on this year’s tour.
“They had thirty comics from all over the U.S.,” Powell recently told the Boston Comedy Scene Examiner, reflecting on the comedy competition that secured his place in the All Star tour. “From the contest, they selected me to be on the tour; they actually removed me from the contest and selected me to be on the tour immediately. The contest winner is not going to be on the tour until next year, but they put me on immediately, this year.”
Prior to his full-time pursuit of comedy, Powell served as Deputy Chief of Staff to a Mayor in Louisiana, as well as having served as Chief of Staff to an Agency Head in Governor Jindal’s Administration in Louisiana. He finally decided to leave it all behind when it came down to making a choice.
“I actually was a politician for a number of years, and eventually I was made to pick between politics and comedy,” Powell reflects. “For five years I worked for the Mayor of Monroe, Louisiana, and I worked for the Governor of Louisiana for two years, and the Governor’s office was the one that made me choose. I chose comedy over politics, which was a horrible choice until this thing paid off.”
It’s not every day a comedian can make the jump from performing in a small town to suddenly being a part of one of the hottest comedy tours around, quite literally overnight, but Powell is adjusting well to his new found fame.
“Since I’m still so new to it, seeing all these new places and venues and meeting all of these new, famous people is still the most exciting part to me,” Powell cites. “I’m hearing that I have fans that play on TV, and I’m not used to people asking for my autograph just yet. But it’s getting there.”
While Shaq’s All Star Comedy Jam is largely urban-themed comedy, Powell should add a little bit of freshness to the show as he brings his small-town view of life to the big stage.
“The reason why I won the competition was that I was so different from everybody else in the competition. Shaq is an urban-style tour, and my style is not urban at all. That’s because I’m from this small town, Monroe, Louisiana, where there were no urban rooms,” Powell tells the BCSE. “For four years, I didn’t even do a black crowd at all, my crowds were 100% white, so my comedy style, I guess I had a white style of comedy. I didn’t know how I was going to perform to these urban crowds, but I adapted to that well.”
Tickets for Shaq’s All Star Comedy Jam at The Wilbur are on sale now – don’t miss this hilarious night of comedy presented by C by Courvoisier
The Wilbur and Bill Blumenreich present Shaq’s All Star Comedy Jam
November 16th 2012 at 7:00pm
The Wilbur Theatre is located at 246 Tremont St. in Boston’s Historic Theatre District