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Earthquake headlines ‘Comedy Smash’
BY STEVEN MARK / email@example.com
Watch out, everyone. Earthquake is coming to town, and he’s taking no prisoners.
Actually, the comedian with the booming delivery of a drill sergeant — he served nine years in the Air Force, attaining the rank of sergeant — might very well have let any prisoners he might have taken get loose. Calling himself “an awful soldier,” he doesn’t boast about his time in the military, especially the day he was in a hurry to see hip-hop group 2 Live Crew perform at a nearby club — and dropped a nuclear bomb.
CAPONE’S COMEDY SMASH
Earthquake, Luenell and Aries Spears
Where: Blaisdell Concert Hall
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Info: Ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000
“You have to change the ordnance in the plane for your daily mission, and I was trying to get to the club on time and didn’t put the fittings in,” he said. “I dropped the rack and the bomb came right behind it.
“Everybody ran, except for me. I was like, ‘Man, what the hell you running for? You can’t outrun no nuke. I just sat down and smoked a cigarette — and I didn’t even smoke. Just waiting for the authorities.”
Earthquake will be headlining Capone’s Comedy Smash. On the bill with him is Luenell, known for a raunchy sense of humor that earned her the title “the original bad girl of comedy” and an appearance in Sacha Baron Cohen’s film “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.” Also returning to Hawaii is Aries Spears, whose spot-on mimicry of celebs like Shaquille O’Neal and Eddie Murphy has made him a fan favorite.
Earthquake, whose real name is Nathaniel Stroman, has been a regular on the comedy club circuit for almost 20 years, ever since he left the Air Force because of the advent of the first Gulf War. “They really needed some real soldiers, and I wasn’t a real soldier,” he said. “I was an awful soldier.”
He has no qualms about admitting it was the possibility of getting killed that inspired him to leave. He’s philosophical about his decision.
“Any day above six feet is a good day,” he said. “There’s no sense of lying about it, faking about it, because the person who matters already knows — that’s God. I don’t know why people are so secretive about it. I’d rather have it come on my terms.”
Stroman grew up in Washington, D.C., and showed no particular inclination toward show business or entertainment during his youth. He said his mother did not encourage his comedic talents, even though she had a funny way of expressing it.
“She said, ‘Clowns don’t get paid,’” Earthquake said. “So I had no ‘career guidance.’ Had my mother known that being a comedian was a profession, she would have encouraged this more than suppressed it.
“That’s why whenever I send her a check now, I do it like, ‘See? Had we listened to you, we’d be broke right now, Mama.’”
He broke into comedy by trying out at open mics at comedy clubs. He may be one of the few comedians who didn’t spend much time bumming around at menial jobs trying to support his comedy career, finding out immediately that comedy was easier and more lucrative than any job he could find.
“I was looking for a job, and no job came and I was making great money doing this,” he said. “I decided this must be my calling.”
Indeed, his routine often takes a sideways angle to the daily work grind that consumes the rest of us. His DVD special “It’s About Got Damm Time,” begins with the reason he likes “working for white people” (“They take excuses!”) and discusses how he loved one particular job so much that he “cried like a b … when they fired me.”
His comedy is topical and observational, which he works at mostly by keeping up with the news and watching all the morning chat shows. He especially likes to watch Fox News, with its gallery of conservative commentators.
“You must watch it if you’re a Democrat or an Independent, because in any war, you need reconnaissance,” he said, referencing his military stint. “They tell you what you need to know.
“I would love to talk to Bill O’Reilly. He’s got his faults here and there, but he’s probably the most talented out of all of them. (Sean) Hannity? You’d think Barack slept with his first girlfriend, because he hates Barack.”