SacramentoComedy.Com recently caught up with the comedian and writer after headlining local Sacramento Comedy Club, Tommy T’s, to discuss his road to success.
We can all thank Dave Chappelle for being the inspiration for Finesse Mitchell exploring the world of stand-up comedy. Mitchell was attending college when he ventured into a comedy club to watch a young Chappelle perform stand up. Ultimately, this led to Mitchell to wander on stage by way of a dare. Basically, he told a funny story and did surprisingly well. “It was one of those historic nights that I probably have never even come close to matching in comedy.”
This motivated him to not only try it again but invited all of his friends to the next open mic night and even spruced up his image with a dress shirt and tie, but the results were lacking, “it was so quiet, [but] much like anything you were excited about the first time, I was chasing that high of getting that first excited crowd”
Just like other aspiring comedians, he stuck with it and for Mitchell, it has certainly paid off. He became a regular on BET’s Comic View and eventually became a full featured cast member on Saturday Night Live.
He explains his 3 year stint on SNL as “an opportunity that came out of nowhere. I was never planning on doing sketch comedy, [SNL] opened me up to try and do new things comedy wise.” But that feeling didn’t last too long as the comic quickly found the gig to be more of a creative burden than a blessing, “the more you do on the show the more insecure you become because you start comparing your career to everyone else’s.” The show’s schedule was also conflicting with other creative opportunities that he had to pass but that never stopped the offers from coming.
He found a reoccurring gig as an advice columnist similar in form to that of “Dear Abbey,” in Essence magazine. This led him to write a book entitled, “Your Girlfriends Only Know So Much: A Brotha’s Take on Dating and Mating for Sistas.” The book was based on the advice column he wrote. He describes it as “funny, informative and quick to read.” The book won the award for the 4th Annual African-American Literary Award for Best Comedy Book in 2008.
Currently, the comic is excited about a new television pilot that he’s written, “It’s a story about a writer who has no real credentials to give anybody relationship advice but he ends up giving everybody in his building relationship advice.”
Kinda makes you wanna ask him for some love advice, don’t it? Guess we’ll just have to pick up his book instead!
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