This week, Ira spoke with comedian Tommy Davidson, who is performing in The Access Showroom at Aliante Casino Hotel January 25 at 9 p.m. In this 30-minute episode of Talk About Las Vegas, Davidson talks about overcoming the odds and achieving success through comedy; why he became “The Happy Dude”; why his business is his life and his life is his business; how he instilled purpose into his life; why entertaining the troops and veterans gave him new insight into the world and history; and who are his models for his life and career.
Davidson started his career as a standup comedian in Washington DC. Spotted by major concert promoters, he was first booked as the opening act for Patti LaBelle, Kenny G and Luther Vandross. It wasn’t long before he came to Hollywood and was headlining the biggest rooms and met Robert Townsend. This led to his first national TV appearance and starring role in Partners in Crime, the conduit to Keenan Ivory Wayans, who proved instrumental in Davidson’s career by offering him an opportunity to audition.
Davidson and Jamie Foxx, Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier — the talented cast of the most adventurous primetime variety show on television, In Living Color (1990), made TV history. The iconic sketch show was honored with the “Groundbreaking Award” by TV Land in a star-studded salute on its 25th anniversary.
His upcoming memoir, “Living In Color-What’s Funny About Me,” is due for release January 28.