Robinson dishes out mix of music, comedy at UH
BY STEVEN MARK / firstname.lastname@example.org
Actor and comedian Craig Robinson doesn’t do stand-up in the normal sense. He’s often sitting down at his keyboard when he’s telling his jokes and performing his provocative parodies.
» Where: Andrews Amphitheater, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Robinson is probably best known for his role as Darryl Philbin, the warehouse foreman in “The Office.” Although he was the straight man on that show, he did have his humorous moments, like when he fell through a table of food. Robinson also had key roles in par-tay films such as “Pineapple Express” and “Hot Tub Time Machine,” which put his musical talents on display when he did a rousing version of “Let’s Get It Started.”
He can also be seen and heard in Walmart holiday commercials.
The child of a teacher and an attorney, Robinson, a native of Chicago, initially pursued a career in education.
“I did OK as a teacher, but some of the kids had to tell me, you know, stop playing around,” he told the Chicago Tribune. While teaching in public schools in Indiana and his hometown and pursuing a master’s in education, he honed his skills in comedy with Chicago’s famed Second City improv troupe.
His first foray at stand-up was at an open mic where the audience members gave the hook to performers by throwing rubber chickens at them. After getting two chickens his first time onstage, he brought his keyboard the next time and incorporated his musical skills into his routine, and it’s been a staple of his act ever since.
Robinson will play anything from an adult version of children’s tunes — his “If You’re Happy” includes scat-singing and profanity — to a classic R&B tune about messing with another man’s girlfriend.