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By Brandon I. BrooksAssistant Managing EditorWhile in town performing at the J Spot comedy club, comedian Michael Colyar, caught up with the Sentinel for an exclusive one on one interview.
If you have never experienced the J Spot comedy club in Los Angeles, the J Spot is owned and operated by comedian, J Anthony Brown and his son Terrell Rivers. The J Spot serves up some of the best chicken tenders you can find in town, not to mention, they serve up many of today's popular comedians such as Michael Colyar.Colyar first burst onto the scene as a legendary, Venice Beach, board walk comedian. He even had his name imprinted in cement by the city of Venice for his hall of fame street comedy. His big break came in 1990 when he won the $100,000 grand prize for "Star Search". He became a household name after being the host of "BET Live from L.A.," and a recognizable Hollywood figure, after his unforgettable performance as, "Showboat," an aggressive music promoter, in the movie, "House Party 3". Most recently, Colyar gained critical acclaim for lending his unique voice to the character "Buford," in Walt Disney's film, "A Princess and a Frog."While in Los Angeles taking a break from his role in Je'caroyous Johnson's stage play, "Marriage Material", Colyar was eager to share with the Sentinel that he and his wife, Brooks Jackson - Colyar, had a wonderful time performing abroad for U.S. troops. "They showed the most amazing appreciation," Colyar shared when referring to the soldier's reaction to he and his wife's visit. "I'm not for anybodies war, but we must support the troops."We were only there for fourteen days and we got nine shows in, and we were trying for ten but two of the bases there got bombed while we were there," Colyar shared. "These young boys are willing to die for this country and that type of thing makes you prouder than you can imagine. It's amazing!"Colyar and Brooks visited military bases in Kuwait and Iraq. They performed on the front lines in cities such as Fallujah, Baghdad, UmmQasr, Taji, Basrah and Al Kisik. They even stayed at Camp Victory, which is what use to be, Saddam Hussein's mansion. Since the removal of Saddam from his compound, the United States military turned the complex into military bases and hotels.Brooks may not classify herself as a comedian but she knows how to captivate an audience and control a room."She's not a comedian as much as she is a personality," Coylar said when referring to his wife Brooks. "She knows how to talk that stuff and tell that story, and she is the emcee of it and she is just an amazing wonderful accomplished woman."Because the experience was so enlightening for them, Brooks went back to Iraq and Kuwait with an all-woman comedy act for the troops. The show is called, "It's not that time of the month.""The soldiers are loving looking at these beautiful funny women who are bringing a slice of America to them because they will not see it for a long time," said Colyar. "We are taking the show national and a major portion of the money will go to organizations to protect battered woman."May 21st will mark the 22nd anniversary of Colyar and Brooks marriage. They have been together for a total of 24 years or as he jokingly states, "22 years of putting up with her s***." (laughs)The two, first met when Colyar was stood up on a blind date and happened to see Brooks. What started out as a blind date gone wrong, ended up being a chance meeting gone right."We got engaged seven days after we met," Colyar shared. "And then got un-engaged and re-engaged over the next four years and finally we got married and she stuck by me threw everything. Threw drug addictions, threw no jobs, threw working hard, and threw the personalities you have to deal with to survive in Hollywood. She stuck around for all of that and that is why she is my queen and she will be treated as such. "The Colyar motto is too give back. "I really think you have to give back to keep the circle going otherwise everything dries up and goes away," said Colyar.An example of Colyar's giving is through his new album project, "Michael Colyar's Greatest Hits and the Greatest Unknowns." Colyar features unknown artists as a way to break them into the industry hence the second half of the album title, "the Greatest Unknowns". The album also features known artist such as MC Breed, EightBall and MJG.If you are interested in purchasing, "Michael Colyar's Greatest Hits and the Greatest Unknowns," the disc is available at Best Buy and you can also purchase the album digitally via iTunes."We have so many projects coming," said Colyar. "We are doing a documentary about the President right now which I am the proudest of called, 'A funny thing happened on the way to the White House...I knocked on the door and a Brother Answered'. It's really my love letter to the president because so many people are trying to tear our President down. The documentary I am doing is totally biased. If you don't like my President, than damn you! This is all about the love of Mr. Obama and how we care for him and how we are going to hold him up."The documentary is in its final stages of editing so the release date is still pending. Anthony Anderson, Cedric the Entertainer and Tommy Davidson are featured on the documentary along with music by Bobby Brown, DJ Quick and Kurupt."Giving is essential." Colyar shared. "Service is what we are supposed to do. And I think creating is important because my God is a creative God. God created everything from nothingness. So we are supposed to be creative because when we create and work, we are co-creating with spirit and we get to have everything. We get to realize our dreams. I'm sitting right in the middle of my dream I am dropping in three months my first poetry book for adult children. And it's also going to spin-off to an animated series. And I am hoping to sell it to television really soon and I really want to get it to Oprah. I'm thinking it would be great to be her first early morning cartoon."