Tony Rock Has Advice for Comics on the Grind

The All Def Comedy host offers his wisdom from the top and explains how he keeps his own comedy sharp.

HBO: You’re in a place where you’re doing a lot of great things, like hosting this show: What advice do you have for people on the come up?

Tony Rock: Write every day; Read as much as possible; Never steal jokes; And be you on stage.

HBO: What are you reading right now?

Tony Rock: I’m reading — actually re-reading —The Autobiography of Malcolm X. I read it as a kid in public school but didn't grasp the weight of it. So now I'm re-reading and man, it's way deeper; way heavier than before.

HBO: What sets All Def Comedy apart from other comedy shows?

Tony Rock: All Def is unlike any other comedy show or set because All Def goes back to the essence of how urban comedy started. We give it a "stoop appeal." A stoop appeal is important for us because it’s where pretty much all black comics started doing their standup. Cracking jokes on the stoop, in the hood. That's the same energy we capture when we perform on All Def.

HBO: What do you hope people get out of your work?

Tony Rock: If you enjoy and become a fan of Tony Rock, I really appreciate it! But, I do my comedy for me, so I don't try and please everyone or appease anyone. In the end, it’s for me.